Earlier this month, Spotify found itself in hot water with American consumers because it slipped a term into its terms of service providing that it could fine people using its service $2500 for, among other terms, spreading misinformation.
Predictably, conservative Twitter went berserk and people pledged to cancel their PayPal accounts and were berating the company for its new $2500 fine policy.
Caught red-handed, PayPal backed off, saying that the term had been inserted by mistake and it had no plans to fine users $2500 for spreading misinformation. A PayPal spokesperson, commenting on the issue, said:
“PayPal is not fining people for misinformation and this language was never intended to be inserted in our policy. We’re sorry for the confusion this has caused.”
“Funny how those mistakes always seem to lean one direction” was the main conservative sentiment swirling around Twitter regarding that retraction.
PayPal’s former president blasted the policy as well, saying that it “goes against everything [he] believe[s] in” and that “A private company now gets to decide to take your money if you say something they disagree with. Insanity“.
But then people took another look at the terms…and the term is back now that the Twittersphere has moved on to making fun of Fetterman’s debate performance and raging about the state of the Biden economy, particularly fuel issues.
Disclose.tv, one of the best accounts for breaking news updates, posted: “ICYMI – PayPal has reinstated its $2,500 fine for “misinformation.“‘
Another account posted the news as well, saying:
PayPal will fine any user $2500 for misinformation.
They added this to their terms 2 weeks ago . After outrage they said it was a mistake & removed it.
NOW ITS BACK in the
TERMS OF SERVICE!
If they fine me $2500 for this tweet ^
Does that mean I’m wrong?
Or am I right?
Commenting on that post, famous podcaster Tim Pool said what many people were thinking, saying “paypal straight up lied“.
One account, commenting on Pool’s post and providing more details, said:
PayPal didn’t sneak this back in. They never removed the $2,500 fine. It’s been there for over a year. All they removed earlier this month was a new section that mentioned misinformation. (And no, I don’t buy their excuse that it was added by mistake.)
PayPal only removed one paragraph that mentioned misinformation, and they didn’t add it back. The $2500 part has been there for a while and was never removed.
Here’s what the policy currently looks like:
Just an FYI @PayPal put the $2,500 fine back into its terms of service as soon as the outcry died down.
Please retweet to raise awareness. Maybe this was just another accident. 🙄 #DeletePayPal pic.twitter.com/lv3SBZuy04
— The Gay Republican (@GayRepublicSwag) October 26, 2022
So, the truth is, as of now, a bit more complex than Pool and Co. were saying: the fine was never removed and the misinformation provision is no longer in there.
However, the fact that a private company is going to be fining people two and a half thousand dollars if they do something it doesn’t like is still highly concerning, as is the fact that, user outrage aside, the company could probably slip the misinformation term back in if it wanted to do so.
PayPal owns Venmo, so right now the only sem-alternative is Zelle, but that one is less useful if you need to move large amounts of money.
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