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The problem with “disinformation” in today’s tech world is that sometimes it isn’t.
Sometimes it’s just called “disinformation” based on personal opinions for political purposes. Case in point: The FBI’s unsupported claim that there was Russian “disinformation” loose during the 2020 president election while it lobbied Big Tech to suppress it. They did, concealing from the American public very accurate, but very damaging, reporting about the Biden family’s international business operations. Polls later showed that election influence operation by the FBI changed the 2020 victor from President Trump to Joe Biden.
Which makes censoring those statements, and fining people for making them, problematic.
Especially when it’s a financial transactions corporation like PayPal.
That company earlier released a policy change that would fine people $2,500 for participating in whatever the corporation would decide to call “disinformation,” and then it quickly announced that it was all a mistake and the threat was being withdrawn.
Now Congress wants answers to a few questions.
In a letter this week to PayPal’s president, Dan Schulman, GOP members of Congress referenced PayPal’s threat to fine those involved in “sending, posting or publication of any message, content, or materials” PayPal doesn’t like.
That would include “misinformation.”
That policy was withdrawn as soon as it became generally known.
But now members of Congress say it is concerning “that a user agreement that contemplates the restriction of free speech was uploaded and disseminated to PayPal users…”
They want a briefing on how the text originated, what is the company’s method of approving policy changes, who does those, what are the company’s controls, who was given notice about the change, how are cases brought and handled, and is there an appeals process and more.
A report at Just the News noted the company’s stock value had “tumbled when news of its censorship plan was uncovered.”
House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., of the House Financial Services Committee, and House Oversight members Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., and Tom Emmer, R-Minn., are leading the effort to review PayPal’s “anti-free speech policy,” the report said.
It added, “Critics also point out that while PayPal rescinded its misinformation policy, the company still maintains a $2,500 “liquidation” policy against accounts accused of “discrimination” and “hatred” as well as “intolerance” as the company chooses to define it.
“The ability to transact without fear of retribution and political censorship is the foundation on which a free economy is built. We cannot afford to sacrifice these freedoms, and we must keep a close eye on any actions that erode them,” Emmer said.
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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.