The payments business has become even more complicated than usual in recent years by politics, a point driven home on Friday when PayPal Holdings Inc. announced it will stop processing payments for the controversial Infowars Web site and related properties.
“We do not take these actions lightly and we work hard to be rigorous and fair-minded,” the company says in a blog post. “We undertook an extensive review of the Infowars sites, and found instances that promoted hate and discriminatory intolerance against certain communities and religions that run counter to our core value of inclusion. We believe that hatred and discrimination have no place in our democratic society and, we do not support this conduct.”
No information was immediately available regarding how much volume the Infowars sites generate for PayPal.
Infowars responded by calling PayPal’s action “nothing less than a political ploy designed to sabotage an influential media outlet just weeks before the mid-term elections,” according to CBS News. The report adds the sites sell products that include a “sleep-aid supplement” and a “male vitality formula.”
PayPal came in for criticism in August when it was charged with processing payments for militia groups and white-supremacist organizations. A social network called Care2 had started a petition demanding that PayPal “remove hate groups from its platform now.”
While PayPal at the time would not comment on the status of specific clients or whether any particular merchant complies with its use policy, it added that “[w]e remain vigilant and work tirelessly to ensure that our platforms and services are not used to promote hate, violence, or discriminatory intolerance.”
Infowars said in a blog post that it was notified by PayPal on Thursday that it had 10 days to find another processor, according to the CBS News account.