CEO of PayPal Dan Schulman recently announced he would be retiring from the online payment processing company at the end of the year. The company faced backlash in late 2022 following a policy change on “misinformation”, which dictated that users could face significant fines for violations.
Schulman said in a statement announcing his retirement:
“I’m proud of what we have accomplished at PayPal and of the incredibly talented and committed people I work with every day,” said Schulman. “Together, we have reimagined financial services and e-commerce, and worked to improve the financial health of our customers. PayPal makes a difference every day for its customers and communities and the Company is positioned for a great future. It has been a huge privilege to have the opportunity to lead this great company for the past 8 1/2 years. However, I’m at a point in my life where I want to devote more time to my passions outside the workplace. I remain 100 percent committed to working closely with the Board and my eventual successor for a smooth transition and to ensure we keep our positive momentum on track.”
The CEO’s retirement announcement comes after the company faced significant consequences from the controversial misinformation policy, where users could be fined up to $2500 per violation. Thousands of users canceled their accounts and a stock selloff erased billions in market value. The Daily Wire reported:
The retirement comes months after PayPal, which has deplatformed multiple organizations and commentators for their political views, had unveiled an upcoming change to its acceptable use policy that would have banned the promotion of “misinformation,” as well as “hate, violence, racial or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory.” Within one day of The Daily Wire reporting on the policy change, which would have imposed $2,500 penalties on users for each violation, PayPal claimed that the guidelines were published “in error.” PayPal lost $6 billion in valuation during a subsequent stock market selloff as thousands of users canceled their accounts.
This policy decision drew many critics who lashed out at the company, including former Paypal president David Sacks, co-founder Elon Musk, and members of the Senate. Senators even went as far as requesting more information about the policy after it was revoked. In a letter to Schulman, the congressional members said:
“Greater encroachment by large technology and financial companies into public speech will only exacerbate Americans’ increasing mistrust of such institutions. Policies that empower companies to punish individuals’ beliefs by acting as arbiters of fact in our ever-changing news and public debate environment represent poor business decisions. Instead, large technology and financial institutions should focus on serving the needs of their customers without bias.”
Big Tech has a track record of penalizing and sanctioning conservatives on their respective platforms. Republicans have tried unsuccessfully to enact legislation that will fairly uphold free speech on social media. Senator Steve Daines has been at the forefront of this issue as he told the Daily Wire:
“Big tech’s censorship and sanctioning of speech they simply disagree with is inexcusable — they must be held accountable. I’ve introduced a bill to protect the exchange of ideas and political speech and will keep fighting to stop social media companies, financial institutions and large corporations from arbitrarily shutting down viewpoints that challenge the woke narrative of the day.”
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