PayPal, accused of facilitating neo-Nazi rally, promises to deny hate groups service

Charlottesville events force biz to defend acceptable use policy

PayPal has vowed to pull its online payment services from sites linked to hate, violence and intolerance in wake of the weekend's tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The company defended its acceptable use policy following a separate report by the Southern Poverty Law Centre yesterday, which claimed organisers of the deadly rally raised money with PayPal.

On Sunday a car rammed into a group of people protesting against the white supremacist demonstration, killing a 32-year-old woman Heather Heyer.

PayPal said: "It is with heavy hearts that we reflect upon the recent events that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia. Lives lost due to hatred and intolerance are a tragedy for every person in our nation.

"The PayPal community was appalled by the events that transpired – and our hearts go out to the people of Charlottesville and all who have been touched by this unacceptable hatred and violence."

Against this backdrop "PayPal strives to navigate the balance between freedom of expression and open dialogue – and the limiting and closing of sites that accept payments or raise funds to promote hate, violence and intolerance."

PayPal said it had a long-standing acceptable use policy.

"Regardless of the individual or organization in question, we work to ensure that our services are not used to accept payments or donations for activities that promote hate, violence or racial intolerance. This includes organizations that advocate racist views, such as the KKK, white supremacist groups or Nazi groups.

"If we become aware of a website or organization using our services that may violate our policies, our highly trained team of experts addresses each case individually and carefully evaluates the website itself, any associated organisations, and their adherence to our policy."

Earlier this week, Intel chief exec Brian Krzanich stepped down from United States President Donald Trump's American Manufacturing Council as a result of perceived indifference from the White House to the Charlottesville march.

He said: "I resigned because I want to make progress, while many in Washington seem more concerned with attacking anyone who disagrees with them. We should honor – not attack – those who have stood up for equality and other cherished American values. I hope this will change, and I remain willing to serve when it does."

In June, PayPal founder Elon Musk, now chief executive of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, quit Trump's advisory council after the president announced he was withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate accord.®

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