The Daily Telegraph

Anti-lockdown parents’ group blocked by Paypal

- By Louisa Clarence-smith

A PARENTS’ group that fought to keep schools open during the pandemic has become the latest to have an account shut down by Paypal due to “the nature of its activities”.

Usforthem said it was not able to access thousands of pounds donated to its account after Paypal said it was discountin­g service to one of the group’s directors “in accordance with” the technology company’s user agreement.

It comes as Us-based Paypal faces a backlash over its decision to shut down the account of the Free Speech Union, which defends gender-critical academics and people who have lost work for expressing opinions, and the accounts of its founder Toby Young and his news and opinion website, the Daily Sceptic.

The Daily Telegraph revealed yesterday that Paypal had shut down the accounts without any clear explanatio­n.

Mr Young said he believed the action was taken for “political motives”.

Other groups which have said their accounts have been shut down by Paypal include Left Lockdown Sceptics, which describes itself as a “socialist collective” opposed to government lockdown measures.

Molly Kingsle of Usforthem, said: “We were completely taken aback to learn that Paypal were discontinu­ing our services ‘due to the nature of [our] activities’. No prior warning or meaningful explanatio­n was given, and despite them saying we could withdraw our remaining balance, we cannot.

“We have only ever been fully transparen­t about the organisati­on’s aims – to campaign for children to be prioritise­d in public decision making. If something about that mission offends Paypal, why could they not be transparen­t about that?”

“For a small volunteer organisati­on this has a significan­t impact on our ability to operate. It is hard not to draw the conclusion that this is a politicall­y motivated cancellati­on of an organisati­on that in some way offends Paypal.”

A spokesman for Paypal said he was not able to comment on individual accounts but that the company was not discrimina­tory and “does not take decisions lightly” on shutting down accounts, pointing out that there are more than 400 million Paypal customers with a range of viewpoints.

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