PayPal Parts Ways With Site That Helped Send People to D.C.

PayPal Holdings Inc. and GiveSendGo have parted ways after the Christian crowdfunding site helped raise funds for people who attended last week’s violent event in Washington.

The payments giant has also closed an account held by Ali Alexander, one of the organizers of the gathering before the riot, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named discussing non-public information.

“We regularly assess activity against our acceptable-use policy and carefully review actions reported to us, and will discontinue our relationship with account holders who are found to violate our policies,” PayPal said in a statement on Monday.

GiveSendGo founder Jacob Wells said in an email the site opted to shut down its PayPal account after the payments giant contacted it about “certain campaigns” the company “wanted to censor.”

“We told them on a phone call, we disagreed with their stance but we would take those campaigns down,” Wells said. “After discussing it with our team we decided to stop using PayPal. We broke up first.”

GiveSendGo users are currently trying to raise money for the legal defense of people who attended last week’s rally, including one attempting to gather $25,000. Wells said that the site, which calls itself “The Leader in Christian Fundraising,” doesn’t support or endorse every campaign on its platform.

‘Didn’t Incite’

Bloomberg previously reported that PayPal closed an account held by Joy In Liberty. It was among groups that paid for supporters of President Donald Trump to travel to Washington, where mobs stormed the U.S. Capitol last week, breaking through police lines and forcing lawmakers into hiding.

“I didn’t incite anything,” Alexander said in a video posted to Twitter on Friday, according to a report over the weekend in the Daily Beast. “I didn’t do anything.” His Twitter account has since been suspended, and attempts to reach him for comment via Parler and a website for the rally also were unsuccessful as both are out of service.

Some of PayPal’s rivals have also begun reassessing doing business with companies linked to Trump. Shopify Inc. shut down online stores affiliated with him.

“PayPal has a longstanding, well-defined and consistently enforced acceptable use policy,” the company said in Monday’s statement. “Regardless of the individual or organization in question, we work to ensure that our services are not used to accept payments for activities that promote hate speech, violence or other forms of intolerance.”

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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