Do we want the banks to play politics?
When you think of “moral puritanism” and “virtue,” the banking industry sits somewhere next to lawyers, stockbrokers, and used-car salesmen.
Currently it’s Pride month and banks around the world have washed down their rainbow logos to show how accepting and inclusive they are. PayPal is perhaps the most painful, with its logo superimposed on a rainbow flag and “open to all” printed in colorful lettering while Visa went with “love uplifts everyone, everywhere”.
People don’t go to banks for a lesson in ethics and – until very recently – banks were heavily regulated to ensure they served everyone, regardless of their politics. Access to banking services has long been considered the equivalent of a human right.
Australia’s human rights watchdog says:
“A business providing electronic financial services, including ATMs, EFTPOS, internet and telephone banking, must ensure that they are accessible to all people, including people with disabilities.”
The rise of internet banking firms and the saturation of so-called “virtuous signaling” has eroded regulatory oversight protecting banking customers by – as is almost always the case in bureaucratically laden countries – adding more regulation.
Active discrimination was first noticed in organizations like PayPal. Years ago, when the online banking community was young, it was discovered that the company was suspending the accounts of high profile political commentators who the press “loved to hate”. These were customers who had not broken the law. Instead, they published articles or delivered speeches considered controversial or, in some cases, offensive.
In much the same way that social media companies like Twitter and Facebook remove people they don’t like using internal “community standards and safety guidelines”, PayPal cut people’s services and – surprisingly – continued to hold the money for 180 days.
When this first happened, it should have prompted a regulatory backlash from the government informing PayPal of its responsibility to customers as a banking provider – not a moral guardian. Governments around the world have been extremely slow to adapt to the internet, and the online banking industry’s persecution of free speech has been deemed a “non-event”. Worse still, governments now see social media and banking as a way to influence policy with the creation of “social licenses” so there is little hope they will do anything useful.
Fast forward and the online banking industry leads physical banks in ideology. Their moral police rubbed off on traditional banks like Mastercard and Visa who joined the censorship party. Not only are writers in the crosshairs (and the offense bar is lowered so far he may be tripped on the way to the local coffee shop), Mastercard changed its customer policy, which resulted in the demonetization of the sex work industry overnight when they refused to do business with PornHub and OnlyFans. Like all bad ideas, this was done in the name of “security”.
junkee covered the case of a woman they call ‘Kate’. As a sex worker, she was denied a bank account with Suncorp and NAB, while Commonwealth Bank wanted to charge her a $500 annual fee because of her ‘high risk’ – remember, c is for a perfectly legal business in it state.
If you think discrimination against women in the sex industry doesn’t match the “pro-women” discourse that banks promote to the public, you’re right.
This behavior extends to third-party gateways that handle money such as GoFundMe. They made headlines after suspending the accounts of Canadian Freedom protesters before threatening to donate their money to a GoFundMe-chosen charity that better aligned with their values. They renounced what many called a “theft” and returned the money.
KoFi – a much smaller payments company – has removed several Australian political writers for writing articles on human rights and freedom, classifying them as “high risk” in the eyes of payment providers like PayPal, with who they deal with.
Payment gateways attack political writers more than any other online group. Forget “fighting criminal activity”, what they really don’t want is people writing against their pet ideological projects.
Anti-war publications such as Consortium News and the MintPress News — which are described as left-leaning newspapers that criticized America and NATO during the current war with Russia — had their PayPal accounts canceled with no warning or explanation, except for a small note that read:
“We have noticed activity on your account that does not comply with our Terms of Service and we are no longer offering PayPal services to you…due to potential exposure to risk, we have permanently restricted your account. “
This prohibition was later extended to the personal account of the founder of MintPress.
“I think this is a case of ‘ideological policing.’ Indeed, this is wartime censorship even though the United States is not officially at war,” said Joe Lauria, editor of the Consortium.
post-millennium journalist Ian Miles Cheong published on January 5, 2022:
‘PayPal just informed me that they have permanently banned my account. Without giving an explicit reason, the supervisor was extremely rude and implied that it had everything to do with my policy.
He added: “They didn’t let me know what rule I broke or how, rather they lectured me on how journalists don’t reveal their sources.” When I pressed them to find out if that was my policy, they seemed to imply that it was – the guy was really rude – and commented that “on matters regarding the policy, PayPal remains neutral”.
PayPal CEO Dan Schulman has previously spoken about similar instances of PayPal account deletions and said he abides by the company’s Acceptable Use Policy which advocates against “violence, hatred or intolerance racial”.
No, that doesn’t seem to cover organizations like Black Lives Matter that have fueled real-world violence and racially-biased criminal damage against white citizens during months of rioting where more than a dozen people died and billions of public damages have been committed.
‘[There’s a] fine line between what is hate and what is free speech and who we allow fundraising using PayPal or Venmo, and who we don’t.
This is a position that PayPal does not have to prove or allow its decision to be challenged. They simply remove writers, journalists and content creators and seize their funds for 180 days, although there are no charges of breaking the laws. This leaves journalists ‘guilty’ of hate speech in ‘social justice’ court with no opportunity to protect their jobs.
Banks and financial institutions are not supposed to have this power.
Imagine getting a notification that your home loan was canceled because you said women’s sports should only be for women — or that women are biological women.
We’re not there yet, but with financial companies advocating for climate change and social justice, it’s only a matter of time.
This is indeed a world where social issues are artificially manipulated by financial institutions, just as medical coercion has been perpetrated via government mandates that “were absolutely not mandatory”. The end result is a so-called democracy that is too afraid to speak out and contradict the dangerous, irrational and often downright false demands of mostly Marxist militant mobs.
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