Some of you may have heard that PayPal has updated its Acceptable Use Policy, effective November 3rd. The new policy prohibits using the service for activities that " ...involve the sending, posting, or publication of any messages, content, or materials that, in PayPal’s sole discretion, ... are fraudulent, promote misinformation, [italics ours] or are unlawful..."
PayPal's new User Agreement goes on to warn its customers that, should they violate this policy, the company may seize money from their account/s, for "damages caused."
According to PayPal's "Actions We May Take if You Engage in Any Restricted Activities.":
"If you are a seller and receive funds for transactions that violate the Acceptable Use Policy, then in addition to being subject to the above actions you will be liable to PayPal for the amount of PayPal’s damages caused by your violation of the Acceptable Use Policy. You acknowledge and agree that $2,500.00 U.S. dollars per violation of the Acceptable Use Policy is presently a reasonable minimum estimate of PayPal’s actual damages... PayPal may deduct such damages directly from any existing balance in any PayPal account you control."
Freogan Fellowship Learning wishes to assure all of our students and their families that we will not be intimidated into altering our teaching or our speech by the actions of PayPal or any other service provider. We remain committed to the values of free speech and individual liberty.
The past couple of years have revealed to us the meaning of the word "misinformation" when it is wielded by self-appointed arbiters of the truth, and we have every reason to believe that – just as social-media platforms have done – PayPal will use this term as a weapon against speech that deviates from that which is officially sanctioned. Of course, this could include a great deal of what we teach and write about here – including, with some sense of irony, our in-depth course on the nature of propaganda.
It is for this reason that we have decided to cancel our account with PayPal, which we have done. This of course leaves open the question as to how students and their families will pay for our classes. We have a few ideas, but will have to do a little research to determine which is best.
So please bear with us as we figure this out! Yes, we are still offering classes, and yes, we will find tools for folks to use to pay for them – and we will emphatically not allow those tools to dictate our content in any way, shape, or form.
Thank you for your patience, and your support!
UPDATE: PayPal is now saying that they will not seize $2,500 from users' accounts for violating their Acceptable Use Policy, that this language was included by mistake.
Frankly, we don't believe them. And even without the threat of taking money from users, we find their Acceptable Use Policy unacceptable. We have canceled our account with PayPal and will not be re-opening it. We will update you all when we have an alternative method of accepting payments in place.