Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who created Infowars, has finally been given the boot from major social media platforms after years of public outcry and our reporting. But the financial platform PayPal still chooses to give Jones access to its services, despite the fact that he has committed highly publicized and egregious violations of the platform’s own terms of service.
In PayPal’s user agreement, the company explicitly forbids users from providing “false, inaccurate or misleading information” and acting “in a manner that is defamatory, trade libelous, threatening or harassing.” The policy page also explains that violating those rules could result in the closure or suspension of a user’s PayPal account and “we may refuse to provide the PayPal services to you in the future.”
Despite this, Infowars is able to process some of its financial transactions using the service. As we noted in our reporting about Spotify hosting Jones’ podcasts, Jones and the Infowars staff have engaged in numerous clear-cut examples of threatening and harassing behavior while using PayPal to process donations to the network. The site also has a nationwide reputation as a misinformation hotbed with the declared intention of not trying to report news, but rather fighting a self-declared “war for your mind.”
Facebook, YouTube, Apple, Spotify, Vimeo, Sticher, and MailChimp have removed Infowars from their platforms on account of the egregious violations of their sites’ terms of service. Infowars claims that the platforms Shopify and Criteo have also recently denied them service. We have reached out to PayPal via email to ask if they planned to do the same and will update this post if the company responds.
Correction: A prior version of this article mistakenly used the word “financed” in its headline to describe PayPal’s servicing of Infowars. We have updated this article to clarify PayPal’s role.