PayPal, the popular online payment platform, announced late Tuesday night that it would bar users from accepting donations to promote hate, violence and intolerance following revelations that the company played a key role in raising money for a white supremacist rally that turned deadly.
The company, in a lengthy blog post, outlined its long-standing policy of not allowing its services to be used to accept payments or donations to organizations that advocate racist views. PayPal singled out the KKK, white supremacist groups or Nazi groups — all three of whom were involved in organizing last weekend’s Charlottesville, Va., rally.
“Intolerance can take on a range of online and offline forms, across a wide array of content and language,” the company wrote. “It is with this backdrop that PayPal strives to navigate the balance between freedom of expression and open dialogue — and the limiting and closing of sites that accept payments or raise funds to promote hate, violence and intolerance.”
Corporate watchdogs and civil rights organizations have pressured the company for years to ban such groups.
While PayPal has at times prevented some prominent hate groups from raising money through its platform, it also allowed at least eight groups and individuals openly espousing racist views to move money through its site before and after Charlottesville, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a legal advocacy organization that monitors hate groups.
The Unite the Right march in Charlottesville ended with one person dead and 19 injured after a car driven by an alleged Nazi sympathizer crashed into a crowd of activists protesting the hate rally. Two other state troopers were killed when their helicopter monitoring the demonstrations crashed.
PayPal has agreed to removed at least 34 organizations, including Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute, two companies that sell gun accessories explicitly for killing Muslims, as well as all accounts associated with Jason Kessler, the white nationalist blogger who organized the Charlottesville march, according to a list provided to the Post by Color of Change, a racial justice organization seeking to influence corporate decision-makers.