Payment processor PayPal (PYPL) terminated its relationship with Infowars and its owner Alex Jones citing incidences of discriminatory content and hate speech. Prior to PayPal, other giants in the IT sector, Apple, Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, Twitter, and Google have also removed the controversial media sites and Jones from their platform.
According to a PayPal spokesman, “We’ve made a decision to end our relationship with Infowars websites, including PrisonPlanet. We undertook an extensive review of the Infowars sites, and found instances that promoted hate or discriminatory intolerance against certain communities and religions, which run counter to our core value of inclusion.”
As per the instructions from the leading payment processor, Infowars now has only 10 days to find itself a new payment processor. Reports indicate that Jones may turn the company to follow cryptocurrency payments as an alternative with immediate effect. One of the tweets also suggests that Infowars may settle for Coinbase Commerce, an e-commerce payment processing site designed specifically for accepting virtual currencies. Incidentally, since it works on a decentralized platform, the site does not require a middleman.
Infowars accuses PayPal of planning financial sabotage
Following notification from PayPal regarding withdrawal of its services, Infowars allegedly stated that PayPal is following a political ploy especially designed to sabotage an influential outlet of media financially. PayPal did not give any specific examples of the problematic behavior from Infowars. However, the media platform is gaining criticism as well as increasing attention for spreading conspiracy theories online.
Apple removed the podcasts of Jones from iTunes last month citing that the company cannot tolerate “hate speech”. Soon after, YouTube also took the same steps saying that Infowars repeatedly violated its terms. Twitter suspended Jones permanently from its platform at the start of this month after initially resisting banning him. Twitter announced its decision within a few hours after Alex Jones participated in a congressional high-profile hearing that involved the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg and Chief Executive of Twitter, Jack Dorsey.
Eliminating Jones and Infowars can be a crucial decision for many sites as Jones is highly effective at converting traffic into paying customers. Last month’s statistics indicate that out of 1.15 million visitors visiting the online storefront of Jones, 60% went to PayPal for making a purchase.