PayPal said it mistakenly informed Consortium News that its account could be restored, saying instead it was shut forever, without ever giving any reasons for it, reports Joe Lauria.
By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News
A PayPal customer service agent on Thursday told Consortium News that an email sent to CN on Tuesday saying steps could be taken to restore the account was a “mistake” and that CN is indeed permanently banned from using its services.
The email on Tuesday said: “Access to your account will remain limited until you perform the steps required to lift the limitation.” The steps needed to be taken were never specified. Now PayPal says that information was sent in error and there is nothing Consortium News can do to restore its account. CN is unlikely to want to restore the account after its experience with PayPal. But an attempt to take the steps to reopen it would have yielded the reasons why Consortium News was banned in the first place. PayPal has never given any reasons for its actions.
An agent from PayPal’s “escalation department” then said she could not provide any information about why the account was blocked because Robert Parry, the CN founder whose name is on the account, is deceased. She said they could only speak with him. PayPal is refusing to change the name to the current editor-in-chief because the account was permanently banned (even though days ago he submitted the documents necessary for a name change). The “escalation” agent also said she could not discuss details because she was worried about her “employment.”
MintPress News, whose account was also shut down, received the exact email as CN did, saying the funds would be released and that it could take steps to the lift the ban. The name on MintPress News‘ PayPal account is Mnar Adley, MintPress executive director, who is still very much alive. But PayPal would not tell Adley why MintPress‘ account was closed either, Adley told Consortium News. She said that a statement had been prepared to be read out to her saying no further information would be made available. So the excuse about only being able to speak to Parry was untrue. PayPal will speak to no one dead or alive about why accounts were shut in these cases.
CN told the “escalation” agent that the only reasonable conclusion is that the ban was imposed because of a violation against providing “false, inaccurate or misleading information” which appears in PayPal’s user agreement. CN told the agent it’s likely PayPal would have provided the reasons for shutting down CN if the reasons were uncontroversial and that PayPal is probably remaining silent to avoid the embarrassment of revealing its attempt to defund a media organization because it disagrees with its news coverage, which would be a thoroughly “un-American” act.
If seen in the context of critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine being kicked off platforms like Twitter, including three Consortium News writers, the conclusion to be drawn is that CN‘s critical coverage of Washington’s Ukraine policy is the reason behind PayPal’s action.
PayPal may have been working on the advice of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). In July 2021, the ADL and PayPal announced a “partnership initiative to fight extremism and hate through the financial industry …” It would be an extraordinary stretch to conclude that Consortium News was engaging in “extremism” or “hate” because of its Ukraine coverage. However, CN has reported extensively, since Parry first did in 2014, about the influential role of neo-Nazism in Ukraine’s military. In a speech to the U.N. Security Council on Thursday, British ambassador Barbara Woodward said, “We are deeply concerned that Russia’s war is accompanied by a propaganda campaign, including in this Council, designed to dehumanise and demonise Ukrainians by labelling them as neo-Nazis. This hate speech is extremely dangerous.”
Reuters reported that PayPal transactions would be researched by the ADL’s Center on Extremism to also combat “anti-government organizations.” Reuters said: “The information collected through the initiatives will be shared with other firms in the financial industry, law enforcement and policymakers, PayPal said.”
This raises the specter that government and law enforcement may have been involved in PayPal’s decision on Consortium News. While the Biden administration’s new Disinformation Governance Board does not have police powers on its own, it is part of the Department of Homeland Security, which does.
The State Department also runs a Global Engagement Center, whose core mission is, “To direct, lead, synchronize, integrate, and coordinate efforts of the Federal Government to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining or influencing the policies, security, or stability of the United States, its allies, and partner nations.”
CN has emailed the media departments at DHS, the State Department and the ADL for responses and will update this story if it receives any.
The “mistaken” email did say something true: that Consortium News‘ and MintPress funds, which had been frozen, were released. CN immediately transferred them out of the account. PayPal had initially said it would hold the funds in CN‘s and MintPress‘ accounts for up to 180 days, after which it would decide whether to release or keep them for “damages” if PayPal suffered any liability.
The New York Post, the oldest U.S. newspaper, wrote an editorial on Wednesday condemning PayPal’s actions against CN and MintPress:
From the Left: PayPal’s Indy-Media Wipeout
“’The online payment platform PayPal without explanation suspended the accounts of a series of individual journalists and media outlets” for a half-year “review,’ claiming vague violations of its user agreement, fumes TK News’ Matt Taibbi. One victim who actually spoke to a PayPal human learned the company plans to keep any payments it has now frozen if it decides there was a violation. The outlets are indeed edgy, but this ‘ups the ante again on the content moderation movement,’ since ‘going after cash is a big jump from simply deleting speech, with a much bigger chilling effect.’ That’s “especially true” for ‘the alternative media world, where money has long been notoriously tight.’ If the issue is PayPal’s ban on providing ‘false, inaccurate or misleading information,’ it’s an ominous echo of Team Biden’s “dystopian ‘Disinformation Governance Board.’
Independent media reacted too, with an article by Matt Taibbi on Substack, one by Jacobin magazine and a report on DemocracyNow! The story also made The Hills‘ show Rising:
PayPal may well have reacted to the growing media coverage, as well as to the outrage generated on Twitter, with many people saying they were canceling their PayPal accounts.
Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former U.N. correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers, including The Montreal Gazette and The Star of Johannesburg. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London, a financial reporter for Bloomberg News and began his professional work as a 19-year old stringer for The New York Times. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe
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Maybe the silver lining to this dark cloud is the validation CN has accrued by the irresponsible, vindictive, disrespectful and obvious offensive manner unprofessional paypal reps exhibited while carrying out their “hit job”! Absolutely nothing like the opposition showing who they really are when they are frightened or intimidated.
The word “Fowl” come to mind!
The “escalation” agent also said she could not discuss details because she was worried about her “employment.”
…imo, the “escalation” agent’s, “in a pickle,” w/o a whistle, to blow. What the Agent knows, “If you destroy a bridge,” employed vs. unemployed, “be sure you can swim.”
In addition to contacting Homeland’s media department, shouldn’t you use FOIA to request any records related to your bans from Twitter and/or PayPal?
In fact, I’ve been wondering if any news organization has used FOIA on Homeland regarding its new “disinformation” board. Perhaps you should look into that, as well, to request any documentation, emails, paper correspondence, etc. between Homeland and U.S. media, law enforcement, PayPal or anyone else.
I closed PayPal recently too after foolishly leaving the account active for too many years with only two transactions in recent recall the last for a dodgy code violating apartment application.
My parting gift is a tax write off PayPal 1099-c for debt cancelation of bill pay a bot driven credit extension for a no income no assets part time student.
Sorry I can’t offer matching funds to what they tried to steal from you. Sounds like USA is land of the thieves with crooks in chief leading by example. Last one took by so many tactics that David Cay Johnston got a whole book out of it. Latest seems to fold his cards and still grab the pot. Must be rubbing off on these pirates. Thought looting in wartime was frowned upon or only wwii? Not Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, wallstreet, the hill, or mainstreet.
In thee not distant future the government with help of big tech, banks, and criminal justice system will start seizing individuals assets for not supporting the government sponsored narratives. To them, everything is about money and that is the cause of almost all the problems with our society.
I first heard of China’s social credit system a couple of years ago. I feared it would come to the US, and that the longterm goal along with narrative and behavior control was seizing bank accounts and property.
PayPal is connected to the World Economic Forum, apparently part of the Great Reset. Peter Thiel, co-founder, is one of the WEF Global Leaders. May they end up eating bugs!
“In a speech to the U.N. Security Council on Thursday, British ambassador Barbara Woodward said, “We are deeply concerned that Russia’s war is accompanied by a propaganda campaign, including in this Council, designed to dehumanise and demonise Ukrainians by labelling them as neo-Nazis. This hate speech is extremely dangerous.””
Try to keep up, UK, your US pals already said Azov founder Biletskiy’s new group National Corps is a “nationalist hate group:”
“The founder of the Azov Battalion, Andriy Biletskiy, later went on to found a Ukrainian political party known as the National Corps, which has been labeled by the U.S. State Department as a “nationalist hate group.””…U.S. Soldier Plotted Attack, Wanted To Fight With Far-Right Ukrainian Paramilitary, Prosecutors Say,” 9/23/2019, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty
““The National Corps’ inaugural ceremony arguably had pomp more reminiscent of 1930s Germany than of postwar democracy. Photo: AFP, Genya Savilov.” “Azov, Ukraine’s Most Prominent Ultranationalist Group, Sets its Sights on US, Europe,” 11/14/2018
FBI says Azov has been training US white supremacy groups since 2017:
“American white nationalists have tried to join the ranks of Azov in recent years.”…“That year , the FBI warned that Azov’s military wing was “believed to have participated in training and radicalizing United States-based white supremacy organizations.””
Paypal is listed as a Strategic Partner of Klaus Schwab’s World Economic Forum, as are most of the primary global tech-communications companies. The censorship dictates which ramped up during the last 30 months emanate from this organization which has no interest in nation states or sovereign governments and supports NATO as its vehicle towards global corporate fascism.
“A drum sounds as loudly as it is beaten.”
Did PayPal know that Tuesday was World Press Freedom Day?
Closed my PayPal account as well, and hoping anyone else who reads Consortium News does as well: including those who disagree with much of what they find here but still respect principles like free speech and privacy. Consumer strikes, a/k/a boycotts, are how we enforce those rights against corporations, particularly in a time when government has been corrupted by corporate money and privilege.
Some people cannot close their accounts immediately because they have outstanding debt for purchases on credit. However, once those are paid it will be a different story .
I also closed my PayPal account permanently with explanation. I follow CN regularly and am so happy it exists. Sorry to hear how KPFA deteriorated. I still listen to WPFW which still has several good programs.
Let’s ban PayPal.
I closed my account there.
So did i.
I agree. I finally cancelled my account. But more than that, let’s stop using ALL of the online platforms they sold as beneficial but are obviously turned against us — all the social media and digital banking. They cease to exist if we don’t use them.
Online banking is a privacy nightmare. I cringe when friends and associates tell me they do banking on their phones. Your banking info is shared with your cellphone provider and all your phone’s apps.
Never do online banking on your phone. I do on my regular computer, which has so much security software it actually slows it down. But on your phone? Which can be stolen? No way.
Mums” the word. “PayPal has never given any reasons for its actions.”
“What information gets seen by whom is shaped by tightly guarded algorithms that tech companies have spent billions of dollars to develop. “
“Baked in the Cake,” ALGORITHMS, a set of instructions for making a decision or performing a task.
– PayPal can freeze accounts without warning — which can be disastrous for your business.
– PayPal’s ALGORITHM can sometimes detect suspicious behaviors in your account. And when that happens, PayPal can automatically freeze your account, along with the funds in the account.
– That means transferring funds to a bank account or sending money to someone is also put on hold if your account is frozen. This can affect your business’s reliability and cause you to end up losing money.
JUNE 7, 2017 @ FINANCIAL WELLNESS
PayPal Pros and Cons | What Consumers Need To Know
Best practice, Consortium News and MintPress, $pring forward. Their funds, which had been frozen, were released!!!
Better practice, Low Key, CN & MPN, “Keep it Lit!” Go MSM via FOX TV News, the #1 Cable Network News in The Divided $tates of Corporate America.
Just closed my PayPal account and sent a donation directly to CN. So little we can do but this is at least something.
Normally, in a situation such as this, I would blame the private corporation and call for expropriation by the state. In this case, however, the state and the corporation may be acting in concert with each another. A law suit might bring certain matters to light through the discovery process, but my guess is that the PayPal user contract confers exactly the sort of arbitrary power that is now being exercised. Now we can see why it’s so nice to be a monopoly.
I closed accounts on both PayPal and Venmo (owned by PayPal). It took a great deal of work because I had been charging several subscriptions to PayPal. As for other transactions, I guess I have to go back to checks or cash, a major inconvenience; but it will be worth it.
Cancelling PayPal and Venmo (yes, huge pain due to subscriptions). Thinking of using Zelle. What do you think?
Same here. It took a while to change all those subscriptions. I never use checks, though.
I have noticed activity by you that’s inconsistent with democracy and the rule of law and I can no longer use your services. I have permanently limited my use of the account. This permanent limitation will remain permanent until you perform the steps required to lift the limitation, at which the point permanent limitation will become temporary until further notice.
Isn’t ADL, itself an extremist hateful organization?
I always thought so.
NY Post says, “The outlets are indeed edgy.” Consortium News is EDGY? EDGY. I need some new expletives, as I have worn out all of the ones that I know.
I tried to post a comment last night that I had closed my paypal account because of paypal’s assault on CN, noting that the only thing paypal did for me was prevent me from having to dig my credit card out since the credit card does the same thing as paypal and allegedly I couldn’t connect for the comment. The day before, I had been unable to connect to CN. This strikes me as remarkably suspicious.
I closed my PayPal account for good. I didn’t use it much but now I never will in the future. I’ll sign up for the CN live patreon to support the continuing operation of the site.
Like Julian Assange, CN’s cardinal sin is not that it speaks truth to power but that it spreads truth about power. This Pay Pal dictate should be viewed as a positive development in that it exposes more truth about the corrupt power structure. A little more light is shining through the growing tyranny of the red, white, and blue.
Many have said they’re closing their PayPal accounts, but nobody is suggesting work-arounds for vendors. Help us to help you. Give us some good work-around advice! PayPal is useful, but I don’t know of a good replacement.
The highest share holder in PayPal is also the ceo Daniel H. Schulman.
Donahue is still around, who was the ceo of eBay which previously ownedPayPal).
John Donahue still serves as chairman for PayPal. Like most corporate holdings
they also have many other subsidiaries, might b worth a look to see how much they own.
Seems like they are trying to catch up to Black Rock worth a mere 10 trillion in assets.
The narrative must be strong with the PayPal crew. They must enjoy Turning truth into tyranny.
But they are not the only ones …
I’m joining the 17 others that I know of here in this corner of Asia to shut down our PayPal accounts. Insignificant perhaps, but just doing our little part in protesting US government overreach in support of Indy media in the world. Not many people used PayPal here anyway. There is a Chinese saying: “Win the hearts of the people and you begin to win the world.” The inverse is also true. You lose the heart of people, you begin to lose your dominance.
Anything in the US that appears like a “private sector” is merely by leave of the State.
“This raises the specter that government and law enforcement may have been involved in PayPal’s decision on Consortium News. While the Biden administration’s new Disinformation Governance Board does not have police powers on its own, it is part of the Department of Homeland Security, which does.”
You could probably draw a straight line connecting the dots from Trump and Biden’s persecution of Julian Assange to the creation of a Disinformation Governance Board to Paypal’s decision to ban Mintpress and CN. But maybe Paypal executives are just behaving true to character without need of coercion or threats from government officials.
It makes a difference, because Supreme Court precedent makes it clear that the government can’t use coerce private parties (such as Paypal) to violate the First Amendment.
Closed my PayPal account.
Independent media need to create a joint legal defense fund and consider advancing a particularly strong case through the US court system. I’d donate to this cause.
PayPal changes its mind as much as Zelensky! It’s something different every day. It’s best not to take anything PayPal says at face value. I can’t recommend Go Fund Me as a way to cover lost funds either. They are as “woke” and dishonest as PayPal.
How about a gift shop? You can design T-shirts, mugs, stickers, etc. for free at sites like Teespring and CafePress. You would make money from the sale and get advertising from the purchases. I would wear a CN T-shirt to a place where thousands of people would see it. A football game, for example.
We could offer these in exchange for a donation, as CN has done in the past.
I think You might be able to open a new PayPal account using a different email address.
It’s not possible. Forbidden by their rules.
I’ve opened a second PayPal account with a different email address on a different computer, but I don’t use it anymore.
Here’s some PayPal alternatives. I don’t know anything about these companies, but they can’t be any worse than PayPal.
It is impressive how quickly social media near-monopolies have taken control of communications. Many can’t imagine alternatives.
My guess is this is driven by the upcoming extradition of Julian Assange.
Should we have a funeral for the First Amendment?
Hello Doris, we should have a funeral for private property. Illegal appropriation of private property is now the domain of both the state and its corporate vassals. Banks are state vassals. Private property is void. Beware.
Interesting… Pay Pal refuses to allow CN to close their account.
Exactly my own experience, last year. My PayPal account was closed, with no warning, no possiblity of appeal, and the reason was “proprietary”. They have yet to unfreeze the positive balance. Amazing. The Empire of Lies, Bad Faith, Deceit, and Nothing Else.
Not different than the western governments stealing Russia’s $300+ Billions, and before that from Venezuela, Afghanistan, Iran, etc.
The west can do that because they are better, nobler, more righteous, more honest, have better values, etc. than anybody else.
Not to forget, the west became prosperous during the last 5 centuries primarily by looting and stealing from their colonies.
Just boycott PayPal the thief.
Best comment. Most (blissfully ignorant) people don’t want to acknowledge this fact or even study how Britain, France, Spain and later America became wealthy with a civilisation that is provably dishonest and inferior. These same people have put in place current exploitative, economic system that continues the plunder and subjugation.
No problem. I have introduced a sanction that I will not deal with anyone who requires payment through PayPal. All it needs now is for several million people to follow my lead. Oh, and the sanction is permanent.
i agree. i have refused to use them since peter thiel spoke at the RNC on behalf of president #45.
permanent and absolute ban.
Hello Larry. I closed the PayPal account a number of years ago. Their true character has been visible for some time. I implemented your policy – the sanction is permanent and appeal is impossible.
I closed mine in protest of Julian Assange’s Wikileaks account being cut off. Never reopen since.
These latest violations of our most basic civil liberties deriving from the patently illegal and arbitrary destruction of properties and reputations by a corporation that is supposed to be providing its “services” free from all forms of discrimination is very troubling. It shows just how far down the road to totalitarian abrogation of the citizenry’ fundamental rights to free expression by a tiny coterie of anti-democratically appointed corporate censors, — who have time and again demonstrated no competence to be judging either the “dangers” posed by the many diverse organizations which use their services, or, much less, the veracity of the widely varied materials that such organizations may be posting — we have already travelled.
On can only hope there might be a “silver lining” to this attack upon CN, Vice and many other websites and persons. It is hard to believe that there will not be a class action lawsuit against PayPal over its outrageous behavior. Now whether or not the plaintiffs will actually WIN such a lawsuit in the middle of the current hysterically Russophobic environment is difficult to predict, but what is easy to predict is that the plaintiffs will have access to legal “discovery” which will allow them to enter all manner of incriminating documents apropos the horrendous, still mostly publically unrevealed, criminal activities the US government and its corporate masters have been and currently are pursuing across the globe. If the thoroughly opaque detrimental decisions of PayPal in the case at hand can be linked to other egregious cases of the denial of these same civil liberties, say, even to the ludicrous Assange extradition fiasco, — and good lawyers tend to find ways of bringing such materials into the court record — another group of American citizens will at least be able to see clearly just how urgent the cause of freedom from discrimination on the basis of political views has now become.
Just dumped my Paypal acct.
This is really bad, I am so sorry, Consortium News. Maybe using Stripe, a LOT better payment provider; they have a WordPress widget to use. If they won’t, then maybe a Chinese payment processor. Please keep us informed so we know what’s going on. I do lots of websites for U.S.-held political prisoners and need to know what to do now myself for donation forms. At the least I will move to Stripe now. Also, is my humble monthly contribution. I’m sorry it isn’t more, but my heart is full of IMMENSE gratification for the amazing work of Consortium News. Thank you so much.
See??? I knew the [email protected]@@@@s couldn’t be trusted. So glad I closed my PayPal account and absolutely never plan on reopening it. I’m 68 years old and I swear this country has been going down hill since I graduated from high school in 1972. It’s beyond sad, really depressing, actually.
I’m the same age you are, Heather. I realized something was amiss in America when Marines in my church proudly went off to war to slaughter little brown children in Vietnam. The song, “Jesus Loves the Little Children of the World,” rang hollow there. Even though I had to keep attending church until I was 18, I left it in my heart and took Jesus’ example of love with me when I left at 18. It has been so sad to watch the nation I had so much hope for become more and more corrupt through the years. I had so much hope when we marched to end the war and worked to make America a “more perfect union.”
Thank you, CN, for keeping up the good fight for freedom of thought.
And hey, Heather – Happy 50th reunion year! Thanks for being a fellow ’72 graduate whose heart is still in the right place. :-)
Meanwhile it has become an honour to be expelled from Paypal.
Dear Heather. One response to that depression is action. There are many ways to be active and I’m sure you would find one (or more) that suits. Depression emerges from impotence. A feeling of action reverses the trend. Reading and sharing CN is a start. Best wishes.
Have you asked the ACLU or your own company attorney whether PP’s action without advising you of cause is legal? If you get higher up than the woman you spoke to there may be some corporate sensibility rattled. I had a professor friend who is very active in obtaining and dispersing USvsUKR realities who worried that his substantial number of tutorial students who pay with PP might find himself with payment problems.
The Authors Guild has a Legal Dept. that helps writers, members or not, with problems such as censoring. It’s free. Although the Guild has a strong pro-UKR position, its attorneys theoretically are not biased.
Yes. Time to go to the lawyers.
ACLU? After being a member for two decades, I cancelled my ACLU membership in protest when they failed to support Julian Assange. They are part of the problem now.
Assange is a specific case, but to cancel an entire media company is more general and more extreme. They still have a lot of influence if one can demonstrate that shutting down a media company is a step beyond the red line of Democracy.
I agree. I was decades-long member, until I saw how they become politicized after the 2016 election.
It was nauseating.
I cancelled, and called them and told them way.
Hahaha – they are starting to panic and flap. Well done Cn and keep the pressure up and let us all let the people know because people are awakening left, right and centre. I hope you got your 10K out or how ever much it was; NOW – let us all put PayPal out of business because they can no longer be trusted and they are just some globalist lackies set up to get us to trust them- whoops that has gone.
This is known now by the awakened in Canada, US and UK now … and I am sure your viewership can get the word out to the rest of the World they work in. Anyone your end want to write a short text stating how they shafted you and the truckers plus anything against the government narrative ?, then let us make it go viral.
Censorship comes in many forms and people why spell Amerika this way.
I see what you did there. Lolz
Every time PayPal, Twitter or any other authoritarian oligarchic tech monopoly, or indeed anyone, fucks with CN I’m responding by making a donation, even if it’s only for $10. (I now owe CN the equivalent of four donations, three for the three contributors banned by Twitter and another one for PayPal’s latest censorship fuckery. The donation will be sent in today!) And thank you, Joe Lauria, for keeping CN running!
I am not living in US. Money transference without paypal is difficult.
Any ideas anyone?
By clicking on the red Donate button on the upper right side of the home page you can make a donation via credit card from anywhere in the world.
I know it’s difficult, but doing the right thing frequently is. It is time for all decent people, regardless of their political beliefs, to disassociate themselves from Paypal. Paypal was founded by a libertarian but is in no sense libertarian now. There are a number of adequate alternatives and it is not only morally correct but probably prudent to disassociate from any entity so capable of appropriating one’s property, especially when it does so to curtail exercise of civil rights.
Just closed my paypal account
I vowed never to use Pay Pal the minute they shut out Wikileaks/Julian Assange. Why don’t entities simply get donations direcly from donors? Why have anything in between? I’d say, sue their socks off. Then I think of Donzerger and our courts right up to the SCOTUS and Julian Assange. Can “right” win in this god-forsaken place?
Ah, my beautiful San Francisco Bay Area. ‘Community’ members like PayPal and so many others are killing our ability to be free.
Even our beloved radio station KPFA-Pacifist Radio is broadcasting those UK-sourced experts that delicately insert the Russia-bad/Putin-evil narrative. Amy Goodman has been very disappointing.
It’s just astonishing how bad the situation is.
So true, Walter! KPFA used to be one of my favorites, but its slimy shift ended that. It doesn’t get my money anymore either. It goes to CN and those brave souls who speak truth to power, not those who cower to power.