Just when you thought it was safe to use paypal again they just reinstated the policy that caused a PR nightmare for them just a short while ago.
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This Just in! PayPal has reinstated the $2,500 penalty for misinformation hours after apologizing that it had been a mistake.
Jeremy Knauff Grit Daily reports. PayPal has certainly landed itself in a PR bind as far as PR crises go.
Earlier this month, the company updated its terms of service agreement to allow it to withdraw $2,500 from users’ bank accounts if they post anything it deems offensive or misinformation.
As expected, there was an immediate and massive backlash. Users shared their opinions on social media and canceled their accounts in response.
According to Google Trends, Google searches for “delete PayPal” spiked to 1,392% after the announcement. As the situation unfolded, the company’s stock price plummeted.
Shortly after social media criticism died down, it was added back to the terms of service with equally ambiguous language, despite its PR team publicly claiming it was just a simple error. It appears they thought everyone would accept their claim and immediately forget about the incident.
When the criticism died down, the clause that was a mistake and was never intended to be included in PayPal’s terms of service magically re-appeared. Sounds plausible, doesn’t it? The company’s terms of service are so vaguely worded that literally anything could constitute a violation.
As the term “other forms of intolerance” includes such a broad definition, it gives the company the right to claim that anyone who does not fully support any particular position is practicing “intolerance” since tolerance is defined as the unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behaviors that differ from one’s own. In essence, this clause permits PayPal to withdraw $2,500 from user accounts for voicing opinions that PayPal disagrees with.
Considering the number of competing payment platforms available today, I anticipate PayPal’s PR disaster will continue to grow as news of its most recent revision spreads.
It seems that PayPal has learned nothing from their previous PR disaster surrounding this controversial policy. By quietly slipping this clause back into their terms of service, they are sending a clear message: they do not care about the voices and concerns of their customers. This bold move will surely result in a mass exodus of users, as no one wants to have to worry about having thousands of dollars taken out of their bank accounts for simply speaking their mind. It’s only a matter of time before this detrimental decision leads to yet another PR disaster for the company. In this age where people value their personal freedoms, it is hard to imagine this will end well for PayPal.
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