PayPal fails to shut down Prostasia
The only interpretation of PayPal’s actions that makes any sense to us is that PayPal doesn’t want us even talking about these issues, because they are (admittedly) controversial—and that it is trying to censor us from doing so by cutting off the donations that support our work. But if we cannot speak about child sexual abuse prevention without facing censorship, we might as well give up that endeavour right now.
They have alternative means of taking donations, so it’s an inconvenience rather than a tragedy.
Although Internet content platforms are improving their consultation, transparency and redress practices all the time, the financial sector has long been a law unto itself. At #SexContentDialogue, we were fortunate enough to gain a rare insight into the dealings of this secretive industry through a presentation by Cathy Beardsley, the CEO of a payment processing company, SegPay, that specializes in helping adult content providers to process payments.
Just to highlight one of the most ridiculous examples given by Cathy of red lines drawn by the banks, card brands, and intermediaries like PayPal, they will refuse to process payments from sites that allow sexually-themed illustrations of aliens—why? Because it infringes their policies on bestiality. Yet you won’t find any mention of this absurd policy in PayPal’s AUP document, nor anywhere else, because they are not transparent about these details.
Sadly, this is not a new phenomenon. And PayPal aren’t the only financial organisation with such puritanical zeal.