PayPal Holdings said it does not plan to fine customers for spreading misinformation after being criticized for publishing a new user agreement outlining such a plan.
The issue gained more attention over the weekend after the company published policy updates prohibiting users from using the PayPal service for activities identified by the company as “sending, posting or publishing messages, content or materials” that promote misinformation. , in an acceptable way. Usage Policy goes into effect on November 3. A fine of $2,500 (almost Rs. 2,06,000) may be imposed for any violation,” the update said.
The message contained “inaccurate information,” a PayPal spokesperson said in a statement to Bloomberg News. “PayPal does not penalize people for misinformation and this language was never intended to be included in our policies.”
Shares of the company plunged a staggering 5.3 percent to $85.43 (nearly Rs. 7,000), the largest intraday drop since July 26. They fell 4.7 percent to $85.90 (almost Rs. 8,000) today in New York.
The original announcement angered former company leaders, including David Marcus, the president of PayPal from 2012 to 2014, who called such a move “insanity” on Twitter. Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, co-founder of the platform, said in a tweet that he agreed with Marcus.
Right-wing politicians in the US have long accused major tech companies of censoring conservative votes, with social media giants like Twitter and Meta Platforms drawing the most anger. Musk, who is offering to buy Twitter for $44 billion (nearly Rs. 3,62,500 crore), has said he will prioritize free speech on the platform, after criticizing the treatment of personalities, including former President Donald J Trump and rapper Kanye West.
While Republican calls for greater regulation of big tech have found support among some progressives, current proposals requiring platforms to protect user privacy and security have largely failed as Congress pursues other priorities.
The PayPal controversy was also seized upon by conservative politicians and social media personalities, who called on users to delete their PayPal accounts. Tim Scott, a Republican senator from South Carolina, said before the company’s statement that his office will investigate the validity of the policy and take all necessary steps to stop such “corporate activism.”