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Alex Jones Sues PayPal

Payment processing site banned Infowars last month
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2018 2:02 PM CDT
In this Sept. 5, 2018, file photo conspiracy theorist Alex Jones speaks outside of the Dirksen building on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

(Newser) – Less than two weeks after PayPal banned Infowars, Infowars founder Alex Jones is suing the digital payment platform. PayPal said that the conspiracy-peddling website violated its policies by promoting "hate" and gave it 10 days to find an alternate payment processing platform. But Jones says PayPal is just biased against his right-wing views, and wants his account reinstated. "It is at this point well known 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," Jones' company, Free Speech Systems, says in its complaint, per Courthouse News. Jones and Infowars have also been banned by Apple, Facebook, Spotify, YouTube, and Twitter.

Jones and his company have used PayPal since 2000; he sells "health and wellness" products including fluoride-free toothpaste and dietary supplements Gizmodo refers to as "dubious," right-wing books and videos, survivalism supplies, and Infowars-branded merch through his website store. He says the site's refusal to continue processing payments for Infowars amounts to "viewpoint discrimination" and is based on conduct that has nothing to do with his business relationship with PayPal—which, he argues, violates his contract with the payment processor. If PayPal's ban is allowed to stand, it will set "a dangerous precedent for any person or entity with controversial views," the federal lawsuit claims. He also says that PayPal has "effectively cornered the market" on online payment services and "is now using that market power to restrain conservative trade and commerce." Jones is facing numerous ongoing defamation lawsuits himself. (Read more Alex Jones stories.)

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