Daily Pundit PayPal Problems

Bill Quick is being sanctioned by PayPal for allegedly violating its terms of service:

[Y]our account has been limited for violating PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy regarding Offensive Material. The Policy prohibits the use of PayPal in the sale of items or in support of organizations that promote hate, violence, or racial intolerance; items which graphically portray violence or victims of violence; or items closely associated with individuals notorious for committing murderous acts within the last 100 years. Further, PayPal prohibits a person convicted of a violent felony, or his relatives or associates, from using PayPal to benefit financially from the convict’s criminal notoriety.

The form letter they sent doesn’t specify which provision they believe Bill violated, or point to any post or topic from Daily Pundit that they found objectionable. It’s most odd, given the reasonable tenor of Bill’s site. Kevin Aylward had similar problems a while back because of his occasional celebrity nudes postings.

PayPal is essentially without competition at the moment, so one’s options are limited. A practice I’ve adopted since Kevin’s announcement of his problem (and an unrelated problem that I had) is to immediately transfer any balance from my PayPal account to my bank account. PayPal has a habit of freezing the funds of people’s whose accounts are suspended (or, as in my case, hit some arbitrary lifetime spending limit and hadn’t given them one’s bank account information).

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere, Economics and Business
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. carpeicthus says:

    Did he link to a site that shows a beheading video? TalkLeft just had the same problem, so at least it’s not a partisan issue.

  2. carpeicthus says:

    (though it is misguided)

  3. James Joyner says:

    Maybe so. But, heck, I’ve done that here. I haven’t hosted any of the videos (except briefly with the Nick Berg thing as part of a blog cooperative effort)or even the beheading still photos, but I’ve provided links.

  4. carpeicthus says:

    In TL’s case, it was specifically with the latest one. Arbitrary in any case.

  5. PayPal Blues
    PAYPAL BLUES….Proving that idiocy knows no ideological boundaries, PayPal has suspended the accounts of both the liberal Jeralyn Merritt and the conservative Bill Quick. Jeralyn’s offense was apparently linking to a video of the beheading of Eugene …

  6. Remy Logan says:

    From Bill’s post:

    “1. Remove those items from your website that violate PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy. For example, any link to images or videos of terrorsit executions; and”

    It seems pretty specific to me. On the other hand, I think PayPal is being stupid. They are clearly equating political speech with hate speech (also mentioned in their TOS).

    I thought that the Amazon Tip Jar was PayPal’s competition.

    Maybe the best solution is that some enterprising bloggers form a blogging collective that collects and distributes fees. BlogAds already has an established payment system, maybe they could expand to tip jars.

  7. forthStooge says:

    quick seemed to be accusing paypal of censoring his site over his news content, (using some other violation as an excuse) which is odd, at least considering the history of paypal. paypal was of course cofounded (with max levchin) by peter thiel. thiel is an adamant libertarian, who’s dream for paypal was that it would ultimately become a form of non-government currency. ironically, he sold paypal to ebay for 1.5 billion u.s. dollars. (there comes a point where a man’s ideology has to give way to his pocketbook.) so while not exactly agreeing with quick politically, we could at least call him conservative.

  8. James Joyner says:

    Remy,

    Interesting. Although, ironically, BlogAds uses PayPal to both collect monies from advertisers and then to pay the bloggers. What this means is that, for every $100 in ads sold, PayPal takes around $6 in fees in addition to the cut taken by BlogAds.

  9. Wizbang says:

    PayPal Still Sucks
    I tried to warn bloggers in May that PayPal would be coming for your site eventually. Today Jeralyn Merritt and Bill Quick nearly joined the club whose only requirement for membership is that PayPal finds something they don’t like about…

  10. Remy Logan says:

    A BlogAds tipjar would still work because PayPal would no longer be associated with the site. PayPal becomes a conduit for the transfer of money, and not the collector of the tips.

    For the paying customer, the key is that the company collecting funds is trusted. An argument can be made that customers would trust BlogAds to securely collect funds.

    On the blogger’s side, they already trust BlogAds to pay what is owed. How the payment is made is not important, as long as payment is timely and accurate. BlogAds can use a number of different other companies for payout, such as BitPass. This would require bloggers to sign-up with another service, but they will if they know that payment will be timely and accurate — and that their site isn’t going to be subjected to the whims of PayPal.

  11. Mark Ramirez says:

    I suspect PayPal is closing down accounts on the request of enemies who claim your website is offensive. Someone could just fire off an email to PayPal that looks like its from some old lady.

    They don’t have the time or desire to monitor all customer websites themselves.

  12. Jim Ray says:

    Try e-gold, metal denominated by weight is as apolitical as it gets. email me and I’ll click you some.
    JMR

    (Not very much, but even micropayments work with e-gold!)

  13. I agree with Jim, e-gold is the way to go.