Current Affairs

PayPal Bans Jihad Watch from Accepting Donations

Lucas Nolan

Online payment company PayPal has banned Jihad Watch and the site’s director Robert Spencer from accepting online donations using the service.

PayPal has reportedly suspended the account of Jihad Watch, according to the website’s director, Robert Spencer. In a post on Jihad Watch calling for the boycott of PayPal, Spencer outlined his correspondence with the company over a number of emails. PayPal’s suspension of Spencer’s account came shortly after an article published by Lauren Kirchner of ProPublica who criticized tech companies such as PayPal that allow Jihad Watch to utilize their online services. 

“Because of its “extreme hostility toward Muslims,” the website Jihadwatch.org is considered an active hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League,” wrote Kirchner. “But its designation as a hate site hasn’t stopped tech companies - including PayPal, Amazon, and Newsmax - from maintaining partnerships with Jihad Watch that help to sustain it financially.”

Shortly after the publication of this article that PayPal contacted Spencer with an email which stated that “Due to the nature of your activities, we have chosen to discontinue service to you in accordance with PayPal’s User Agreement. As a result, we have placed a permanent limitation on your account.”

Breitbart reached out to Spencer, who gave the following comment on his sudden suspension from PayPal:

“People have complained for years about the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “hate group” list lumping legitimate groups in with the KKK, neo-Nazis, etc. Now this has teeth, as PayPal and others are closing their platforms to those who dissent from the establishment Leftist line, based on the SPLC’s hit list.

The Left sees blood in the water after Charlottesville and is moving in for the kill, attempting to delegitimize, silence and destroy all dissenting voices. The freedom of speech, the foundation of a free society, is being eroded away under our very noses. The recent meeting of the Vice President of Facebook with the Pakistani government, and his assurances that Facebook would remove all criticism of Islam, reveal what’s really going on here: not an attempt to shut down actual “hate speech,” which would result in the closing of many mosques, but an attempt to shut down all criticism of Islam in accord with Sharia blasphemy laws, with the goal of allowing the jihad to advance unopposed and unimpeded.”

Spencer commented further that “The SPLC has previously been accused of using its list of “hate figures” as a political tool to silence conservatives.” Spencer alleges that the group is doing exactly that by listing Jihad Watch as a “hate site.” Journalist Ken Silverstein has previously called the SPLC “essentially a fraud,” and stated that the SPLC had “a habit of casually labeling organizations as ‘hate groups.’” Silverstein also said, “In doing so the SPLC shuts down debate, stifles free speech, and most of all, raises a pile of money, very little of which is used on behalf of poor people.”

In Jihad Watch’s post about the suspension, Spencer called for a boycott of PayPal saying, “So, if you support the work of Jihad Watch, close your PayPal account now. Contact them and tell them why. Tell all your friends that PayPal has bowed to Left-fascism, and to boycott it.” 

For now, the site is accepting donations directly via check sent to 1040 1st Ave #121, New York, NY 10022. 

PayPal did not respond to a request for comment from Breitbart Tech.

[Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan_ or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com.]