In yet another case of Big Tech censorship, conservative activist and reporter Jacob Engels was banned from Silicon Valley-owned mobile payment service PayPal, which owns Venmo.
“The systematic extermination of conservatives and First Amendment defenders on PayPal is extremely dangerous,” Engels told LauraLoomer.us. “I have used the platform for years to pay collaborators for projects related to my journalistic endeavors.”
Engels, who is gay, said that he was not given any explanation for the ban, which is usually the case when Silicon Valley giants nuke accounts from their platforms. Normally, the platforms ban conservatives for generic “terms of service” violations. In this case, PayPal and Venmo said that Engels violated their “User Agreement:”
Facebook, which owns Instagram did, however, deviate from that standard when they banned Laura Loomer, Paul Joseph Watson, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Alex Jones from those platforms within minutes of each other, labeling them “dangerous individuals.” Of course, ISIS operates openly on Facebook-owned Instagram. That’s a separate bag of worms.
“PayPal refuses to provide myself or anyone with specific reasoning when they decide to purge you from their platform, simply stating that you have violated their ‘acceptable use policy’ and that your continued presence would put users on their platform ‘at risk,'” Engels said. “What risk does an LGBT journalist pose to PayPal and Venmo?”
PayPal’s online support confirmed Engels’ ban, and froze his money for 180 days:
Engels, a resident of Florida, said that he never violated PayPal’s policies, but that it was particularly dangerous for them to freeze his accounts as Hurricane Dorian made landfall.
“Having processed hundreds, if not thousands of transactions both big and small on their platforms, I have never once violated their rules or policies,” he said. “They decided to ban me and freeze my funds as Hurricane Dorian was barreling towards Florida. What if my PayPal balance was my only way of paying for shelter, food, or a ticket out of the eye of the storm? PayPal essentially decided that because I refuse totalitarian left-wing groupthink, that I don’t deserve to exist. 1933 called… Hitler and Goebbels want their policies back.”
This is the second Big Tech ban that had wider implications due to the monstrous storm making its way up the east coast. While Uber and Lyft provided free or discounted rides to hurricane relief shelters, Laura Loomer is banned from those platforms. They essentially decided that her life was worth less because of her political views, and apparently would not have driven her to a shelter if she needed their help.
Our own Laura Loomer, who lives in Palm Beach County, directly in the path of the massive storm that is expected to pummel Florida, is banned from using both services for alleged “hate speech”. Both services banned Loomer in 2017 for criticizing Islam after a Muslim Uber driver and immigrant from Uzbekistan, Sayfullo Saipov, purposefully plowed over 12 people in a bike lane in New York City, killing eight.
The Islamic immigrant Uber driver pledged allegiance to ISIS and started shouting Allahu Akbar with a gun in his hand after he killed 8 people with a car.
One thing is clear: Big Tech, which must be reigned in, has not completely thought through the negative ramifications that could arise for people who are banned from using their services, simply for harboring conservative political beliefs.
Peter D'Abrosca is a freelance investigative reporter, author, and conservative political commentator.
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