PayPal shuts accounts of more lockdown sceptics

PayPal has been accused of discriminating against campaigners

US payments giant PayPal has been accused of “blatant” political discrimination after the accounts of two more Covid lockdown sceptics were closed.

The organisers of UsForThem, a group that campaigned to keep schools open during the pandemic, are reported to have discovered two weeks ago that their PayPal account was closed.

In addition, a group of lawyers named 'Law or Fiction' who had challenged lockdowns also had their accounts closed. They told MailPlus that they believed the closure represented 'a blatant assault on free speech as practised in China'.

Earlier this week, GB News reported that the Free Speech Union account had been shut down, as well as the personal account of its founder Toby Younger and that belonging to his news website, The Daily Sceptic.

Molly Kingsley, the founder of UsForThem, said that the group had not been able to access its funds since the account was closed on September 1. “I was worried it would leave us with a reputational problem, which I assume is the intention,” she said. “You become an outcast and it’s not a pleasant thing. It puts you in the position of having to defend yourself and you don’t know what you have done wrong."

The PayPal account of UsForThem, a group which campaigned to keep schools open during the Covid-19 pandemic, was closed, organisers reportedly discovered two weeks ago

Kingsley described PayPal’s decision as “chilling”, adding: “You wonder where this has come from. Is it PayPal? Where is the driver? Consumers? It does seem a little odd for a US company to pay such interest in the views of UK campaign groups.”

PayPal was approached for comment about the two latest closures.

When contacted about Young, it had said that it couldn’t comment on an individual customer’s account and added: “PayPal regularly assesses activity against our long-standing acceptable use policy and will discontinue our relationship with account holders who are found to violate our policies.”