British Conservative MPs Consider PayPal Political Blacklisting Ban

PayPal CEO Dan Schulman at Billionaire Summer Camp
Drew Angerer/Getty

British Members of Parliament for the governing Conservative Party are considering an amendment to internet regulations that would prohibit payment processors like PayPal from blacklisting political campaigners, following the tech giant’s decision to withdraw service from the Free Speech Union (FSU), the anti-cancel culture organization founded by columnist and author Toby Young.

The Telegraph reports that dozens of Conservative MPs, including Michael Gove, David Davis, and Sir Iain Duncan Smith have signed a letter to the Business Secretary, Jacob Rees-Mogg, calling for the government to ban PayPal from blacklisting political campaigners.

(Toby Young)

PayPal CEO Dan Schulman

PayPal CEO Dan Schulman (Drew Angerer/Getty)

Breitbart News’ Jack Montgomery reported on the FSU’s deplatforming earlier this week, which coincided with PayPal shutting down the account of UsForThem, a group that campaigned to keep schools open during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the personal account of FSU founder Toby Young.

PayPal has since reinstated UsForThem, but FSU and Young’s accounts remain banned.

The payment processor’s actions led to immediate backlash from the Conservative establishment in the UK, as reported by Breitbart:

“T]he FSU is going to try to get the law changed so PayPal and other financial services companies can’t deplatform other people for expressing political views they disapprove of,” Young said in an interview with Laura Dodsworth, a lockdown-critical writer.

Fraser Nelson, editor of The Spectator magazine, called for “a law a making it illegal to deny digital services to anyone on grounds of race, creed or colour – and creed includes belief” in an article for The Telegraph, which is close to Britain’s governing Conservative Party, titled ‘PayPal’s censorship marks a vicious new phase in the war on free speech’.

If the Conservative MPs coming out against PayPal’s political blacklisting succeed, an amendment is likely to be added to one of two regulation bills currently being considered by the government, the Online Safety Bill and the Digital Markets Bill.

While tech giants have been successful in normalizing the blacklisting of political campaigners and politicians in the U.S., Britain — where it is the government, rather than private companies, that regulates speech — may be set to take a different approach.

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.


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