Shortly after an article was published by Lauren Kirchner of ProPublica, criticizing tech companies such as PayPal that allow the website JihadWatch.org to utilize their online services, PayPal suspended Jihad Watch director Robert Spencer’s account. Spencer’s response to the suspension of PayPal’s services was a call to boycott PayPal.
Lauren Kirchner said, “Because of its ‘extreme hostility toward Muslims,’ the website Jihadwatch.org is considered an active hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. But, its designation as a hate site hasn’t stopped tech companies — including PayPal and Amazon — from maintaining partnerships with Jihad Watch that help to sustain it financially.”
Spencer was contacted by PayPal with an email shortly after the publication of the article by Kirchner, which stated the following:
Dear Robert Spencer,
We have recently reviewed your usage of PayPal’s services, as reflected in
our records and on your website https://www.jihadwatch.org. Due to the
nature of your activities, we have chosen to discontinue service to you in
accordance with PayPal’s User Agreement. As a result, we have placed a
permanent limitation on your account.
We ask that you please remove all references to PayPal from your website.
This includes removing PayPal as a payment option, as well as the PayPal
logo and/or shopping cart.
If you have a remaining balance, you may withdraw the money to your bank
account. Information on how to withdraw money from your PayPal account can
be found via our Help Center.
We thank you in advance for your cooperation. If you have any questions or
need our support, please contact the PayPal Brand Risk Management
Department at [email protected]
PayPal Brand Risk Management
Spencer was approached by Breitbart and he gave the following comment as to his sudden suspension from PayPal:
“People have complained for years about the Southern Poverty Law Center’s ‘hate group’ list, lumping legitimate groups in with the KKK, neo-Nazis, etc. Now, this has teeth, as PayPal and others are closing their platforms to those who dissent from the establishment leftist line, based on the SPLC’s hit list.
The left sees blood in the water after Charlottesville and is moving in for the kill, attempting to delegitimize, silence and destroy all dissenting voices. Freedom of speech, the foundation of a free society, is being eroded under our very noses. The recent meeting of the Vice President of Facebook with the Pakistani government, and his assurances that Facebook would remove all criticism of Islam, reveal what’s really going on here: not an attempt to shut down actual ‘hate speech,’ which would result in the closing of many mosques, but an attempt to shut down all criticism of Islam in accord with Sharia blasphemy laws, with the goal of allowing the jihad to advance unopposed and unimpeded.”
Spencer alleges that the SPLC is using its list of “hate figures” as a political tool t0 silence conservatives.
Journalist Ken Silverstein states that by labeling groups like Jihad Watch as “hate groups,” SPLC shuts down debate, stifles free speech, and, most of all, raises a ton of money, very little of which is used on behalf of poor people.
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