David Sacks, the founding COO and product leader of PayPal, slammed his former company over its announcement that it would partner with the far-left Anti Defamation League to monitor payments to alleged right-wing extremists, and that it would share the data with law enforcement.
Sacks, along with Peter Thiel and Elon Musk, is part of a group of Silicon Valley founders known as the “PayPal mafia,” who founded and led the company through the dotcom crash of 2000 through to its successful IPO in 2002.
In a guest column for the newsletter Common Sense, Sacks condemned the company he founded for abandoning its original mission:
When someone mistakenly lands on the No-Fly List, they can at least sue or petition the government for redress. But when your name lands on a No-Buy List created by a consortium of private fintech companies, to whom can you appeal?
As for the notion of building your own PayPal or Facebook: because of their gigantic network effects and economies of scale, there is no viable alternative when the whole industry works together to deny you access.
Kicking people off social media deprives them of the right to speak in our increasingly online world. Locking them out of the financial economy is worse: It deprives them of the right to make a living.
Sacks also took aim at the Biden administration for holding a “sword of Damocles” over the heads of tech companies to make them suppress their political opponents.
The suppression of speech by the government is blatantly unconstitutional under the First Amendment. Given that both Congress and the administration are threatening Big Tech companies with antitrust lawsuits and the repeal of Section 230’s liability protection, it’s disingenuous for Psaki and others to claim Big Tech is doing this policing entirely of their own accord. How could they object when the administration and Congress have hung the sword of Damocles over their heads?
Sacks concluded by urging Big Tech companies to “stop throwing kindling on the fires of populism by locking people out of the online public square and the modern web-based economy.”
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.