Two months after a representative for PayPal requested a list of radical right groups and individuals using its services to raise money from Hatewatch, the company has not moved to restrict the groups’ usage of the service to promote racism. That stands in great contrast to other web-based services such as Spotify and iTunes that have moved swiftly to drop hate content once notified.
PayPal’s own “acceptable use policy,” which governs the use of its services, prohibits “use [of] the PayPal service for activities that … relate to transactions involving items that promote hate, violence, [or] racial intolerance.”
Yet, as the Washington Post reported last month, repeated requests for PayPal to enforce its own guidelines have been met with obstinacy, if acknowledged at all. This effectively means that PayPal, the largest online payment system, has given a tacit blessing for white supremacists to use their services as an unofficial banking system.
That obstinacy has spawned a petition campaign on the care2care website demanding PayPal (and other companies) stop providing its services to hate groups. The petition now has more than 80,000 signatures.
PayPal has taken a proactive stance before, banning some of the worst white supremacist sites from using the company’s services to move money. PayPal has banned Stormfront, Vanguard News Network Forum, and, more recently, the Daily Stormer.
In the case of the Daily Stormer, the site’s owner, Andrew Anglin, published his correspondence with a PayPal employee in charge of brand risk management regarding his account being “permanently limited,” meaning he is “barred from future use of PayPal and its services and [is] not permitted to open new or additional PayPal accounts.
Why PayPal bans some sites and not others is unclear. The sections of its acceptable use policy, cited in Anglin’s case when suspending his account, have been cited repeatedly by Hatewatch and others to urge the company to review a list of users that includes more than 60 hate groups. Hatewatch has provided a complete list of these groups to PayPal on two occasions.
A media advisor responsible for PayPal’s press relations told Hatewatch, “[PayPal] has been working to make sure groups follow its acceptable use policy. I assure you that PayPal does not promote groups that make a call to action for violence or racial intolerance.”
Here is a run down of a few organizations using PayPal to raise money:
League of the South
The League of the South is a neo-Confederate group that advocates for a second southern secession to form a “godly” nation run by white Christians. In recent years, the group has focused on street demonstrations against the “demographic displacement of white southerners.” The group’s president, disgraced former Stillman College professor Michael Hill has made statements such as, “If the scenario of the South (and the rest of America) being overrun by hordes of non-white immigrants does not appeal to you, then how is this disaster to be averted? By the people who oppose it rising up against their traitorous elite masters and their misanthropic rule. … What is really meant by the [anti-racist] advocates when they peg us as ‘racists’ is that we adhere to ethnocentrism, which is a natural affection for one’s own kind. This is both healthy and Biblical. I am not ashamed to say that I prefer my own kind and my own culture.”
National Alliance Reform and Restoration Group
The National Alliance Reform and Restoration Group is one of two feuding factions that make up the remnants of the neo-Nazi National Alliance (NA). The organization, led by Sanders Pierce, the brother of the NA founder, William Pierce, is embroiled in a legal battle with another group seeking to carry on the NA’s name. Both factions are seeking to continue the ideological message of the NA, which includes statements like, “After the sickness of ‘multiculturalism,’ which is destroying America, Britain, and every other Aryan nation in which it is being promoted, has been swept away, we must again have a racially clean area of the earth for the further development of our people. … We will not be deterred by the difficulty or temporary unpleasantness involved, because we realize that it is absolutely necessary for our racial survival.”
Pamela Geller is one of the most recognizable and vocal anti-Muslim activists in the United States. Geller’s opposition to the proposed Islamic center in lower Manhattan elevated her profile dramatically. In 2012, Geller formed Stop the Islamization of Nations (SION), a new international organization, and has forged alliances with anti-Muslim activists in the United States and Europe. Geller routinely runs anti-Muslim ads in large metropolitan areas designed to build anti-Muslim sentiment. In 2013, Geller was barred from entering the United Kingdom after government officials deemed that her presence would “not be conducive to the public good.” In 2011 Geller stated, “Islam is not a race. This is an ideology. This is an extreme ideology, the most radical and extreme ideology on the face of the earth.”
Rense Radio Network
Rense Radio Network is a far-right radio network owned by Jeff Rense that hosts programs from David Duke, Don Black, and other material covering the so-called “Zionist conspiracy.” During Stormfront Radio’s New Year’s Eve broadcast, hosted by Don Black, the Stormfront founder approvingly quoted Nazi Propaganda Chief Joseph Goebbels. Other popular topics of shows hosted by Rense, including Black’s, include inciting hatred against Jews, denying the Holocaust and general Nazi Ideology. The Rense Radio Network website contains numerous articles from a number of anti-Semites including John Friend and David Duke. Rense also regularly interviews anti-Semitic Holocaust deniers on his radio station including Ernst Zundel, a German who has spent time in prison for denying the Holocaust.
VDARE.com, founded by white nationalist Peter Brimelow, is one of the vilest anti-immigrant sites on the Internet. Brimelow regularly publishes articles from white nationalists, academic racists and anti-Semites. VDARE also serves as a repository for an archive of nativist columns by the white nationalist movement’s foremost intellectual, Sam Francis, the deceased immigrant-bashing editor of the newspaper of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens. In 2006, anti-Semitic academic Kevin MacDonald wrote in a column for VDARE that, “Jewish activity collectively, throughout history, is best understood as an elaborate and highly successful group competitive strategy directed against neighboring peoples and host societies. The objective has been control of economic resources and political power. One example: overwhelming Jewish support for non-traditional immigration, which has the effect of weakening America’s historic white majority.”