Alex Jones, Infowars Respond to PayPal Ban With Lawsuit
In September PayPal joined Apple, Facebook, Spotify, Twitter, and YouTube in banning Alex Jones and his conspiracy website Infowars from its platform, based on violations of policies barring promotion of hate and violence. Jones fired back this week, claiming in a lawsuit that the payment processing company discriminates against conservative voices and that his exile was based purely on "viewpoint discrimination."
You can read the full lawsuit below.
According to PayPal, Infowars "promoted hate and discriminatory intolerance against certain communities and religions," which violated company policy. "We believe that hatred and discrimination have no place in our democratic society," the company said in an announcement, adding, "we do not support this conduct." But Jones's lawsuit, filed by his Free Speech Systems company, claims the ban violated California civil rights laws and business codes.
"It is at this point well-known," the suit alleges, "that large tech companies, located primarily in Silicon Valley, are discriminating against politically conservative entities and individuals, including banning them from social media platforms such as Twitter, based solely on their political and ideological viewpoints." The lawsuit also claims Free Speech Systems "has been the victim of this [discrimination] recently, as it has been banned from various online platforms based solely on the viewpoints expressed on Plaintiff's programming."
Free Speech Systems claims it is an equal opportunity critic, and publishes "content that expresses negative views against politically liberal people, communists, socialists, and religious fanatics." But, according to the lawsuit, it was content critical of liberals that got it banned from PayPal: "The Store Site also sells several literary works by politically conservative authors that criticize politically liberal individuals and organizations ... On information and belief, it is this highly political content that PayPal claims constitutes a violation of its AU Policy."
Jones and Infowars have also been sued by a teen whom Jones misidentified as the Parkland shooter, families of the Sandy Hook shooting victims, and the creator of Pepe the frog.
Here's the full PayPal lawsuit: