HomeArticlePayPal Blocks Multiple Alternative Media Figures Critical Of US Empire Narratives

PayPal Blocks Multiple Alternative Media Figures Critical Of US Empire Narratives

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In what appears to be yet another escalation in Silicon Valley’s redoubled efforts to quash dissident voices since the beginning of the Ukraine war, PayPal has just blocked the accounts of multiple alternative media voices who’ve been speaking critically against official US empire narratives. These include journalist and speaker Caleb Maupin, and Mnar Adley and Alan MacLeod of MintPress News.

Just the other day MintPress published an excellent article by MacLeod titled “An Intellectual No-Fly Zone: Online Censorship of Ukraine Dissent Is Becoming the New Norm” documenting the many ways skepticism of the US government’s version of events in this war is being suppressed by Silicon Valley megacorporations, including financial censorship via the demonetization of YouTube videos that don’t regurgitate the imperial line on Ukraine.

Today, both MintPress and MacLeod have been banned from using the payment service that many online content creators have come to rely on to help crowdfund their work.

MintPress News happens to have published critical journalism about PayPal itself in the past, like the articles it published in 2018 by Whitney Webb documenting the way shady PayPal-linked billionaires Peter Thiel and Pierre Omidyar have advanced the interests of the US empire and facilitated imperial narrative control, or this one from 2016 on how the company blocks Palestinians from opening accounts while showing no such bias against illegal Israeli settlers.

I asked MintPress News Executive Director Mnar Adley for comment on PayPal’s move. Here is her response in full:

“Paypal banning myself and MintPress is blatant censorship of dissenting journalists & outlets. For the past decade MintPress has been unapologetically working as a watchdog journalism outlet to expose the profiteers of the permanent war state from the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Sudan to Apartheid Israel’s occupation of Palestine and Saudi Arabia’s genocidal war in Yemen to regime change operations in Syria, Ukraine and Venezuela where US weapons have flooded these nations to plunge them into devastating civil wars. 

“In the era of a declining US empire, censorship has become the last resort of an unpopular regime and its forever wars to make the truth disappear and critical thinking all but dead. With the war in Ukraine raging on, we’ve entered war time and Big Tech giants, including Paypal, are working hand in hand with the New Cold War architects themselves to sanction dissenting journalists. If you read the board of any of these tech giants from Google, Twitter, Facebook and Paypal, they read like a rogues’ gallery of war mongers and their agenda is clear: To control the free flow of information and target the bank accounts of anyone who dares question the official narrative of the Pentagon or State Department. 

“It is outrageous to be told that tech giants, which are run by those who directly profit from the New Cold war including the crisis in Ukraine, could limit any journalist’s ability to fund their work. Can you imagine if this was the norm in Russia, China or Iran? Our media would be screaming about free speech and first amendment rights. Yet, when we do it’s ok because it’s under the guise of fighting ‘Russian propaganda’. 

“We’re living in an intellectual No-Fly Zone where online censorship of dissenting journalism has become the new norm. The US sanctions regime that is trying to starve Russia, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Cuba and Iran and over 25% of the world’s population is now targeting its own citizens with its maximum pressure campaign so we are forced to toe the official government line in order to survive as a journalist in alternative media today.

“No matter the war waged against us, we refuse to be backed into a corner and bullied by tech giants who have a deep relationship with weapons manufacturers like Raytheon and Lockheed Martin and who work hand in hand with NATO that profit off the blood of millions of people around the world. The only way forward is for people to unite on a broader front of non-partisanship and fund our own media because there are more of us than there are of them.” 

PayPal has also banned Caleb Maupin, an American speaker and journalist whose work has already seen his personal Twitter account branded “Russia state-affiliated media” by the US state-affiliated platform.

“Why should something as basic as cash transactions be subject to political censorship?” said Maupin when asked for comment. “The economic war on independent countries is turning into a war on free speech. Writers and journalists must be able to eat.”

Indeed, a very effective way to silence unauthorized media voices is to make it difficult for them to earn a living making their voices heard. Speaking from experience I know for a fact I couldn’t put out a fraction of the content I put out if I was forced to work a 9-5 job in some office rather than having the freedom to put all my time and mental energy into this work thanks to the generous support of my readers. Cutting me off from that funding would be the same as censoring me directly, because there’s no way I could continue the kind of work I do.

We are at a profoundly dangerous and frightening point in human history. The US proxy war against Russia in Ukraine is escalating by the day and the drums of war are beating ever louder against China over the Solomon Islands and Taiwan. If you think censorship is bad now, wait until this global power grab really gets going.

____________________

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Latest comments

  • Consortium News is the latest casualty to have their account frozen.

  • As the owner of an e-commerce site for over 20 years I have looked for non-political payment processer US based and they do not exist.

    • This is why you should be using Privacy cryptos, like Pirate Chain, Monero, Dero and XEQ. These are actually fungible currencies. No one can know how much you have or what you’ve been buying with it.
      Its the future of money.

    • That is no longer true. There is the site givesendgo and also givebutter. These are both sites that do not side with the main stream media.

  • This is theft. Pure and simple theft. Payment processors should not be involved in ANY activities toward censorship. A totally fraudulent entity.

  • It’s only getting worse, too. In March 2022, HR 7231 was introduced in the US House, “to establish the Electronic Innovation Currency Program” so the Federal Reserve Banks can “produce electronic U.S. dollars in such quantities, denominations, and technical forms as the Secretary [of the Treasury], in the Secretary’s discretion, determines to be appropriate… Electronic U.S. dollars would be regulated for the purposes of know-your-customer, counter-terrorism, and transaction reporting laws, and thus not subject to a reasonable expectation of privacy … capable of being owned, held and used by the public via widely accepted hardware devices without third-party custodial or payment processing intermediaries”, according to the text of the bill.
    ^
    Pressley and Tlaib are among the co-sponsors of this bill – “progressive” Democrats strike again. Officially they claim this legislation “promotes consumer safety and privacy, financial inclusion and equity, and anti-money laundering and counterterrorism compliance” but the bill explicitly states there is no privacy. Guess it’s another privilege we must surrender for the current Holy Grail of “inclusion and equity.”

  • They Just Lost My Business.

    emailed this to PP feedback in my account:

    I have been using paypal as my default payment method for close to 20 years.

    Total transactions are considerably in excess of £100,000 over that period.

    Less than an hour ago, I found out that you have banned the accounts of Caleb Maupin, Mint Press, Caitlin Johnstone and other independent content creators, who provide a different narrative than the false mainstream
    narrative that is being forced across the World.

    From now on, I will not be using you as my default payment provider.
    I will be switching to alternative providers or using direct Credit/Debit Card
    payment methods.

    This is censorship on your behalf. You just lost your commission on all my future transactions.

    It is important that you know why.

  • PayPal froze my account with no warning, said the reason was “proprietary”, and have never released my funds. Right after I doubled my monthly subscription to Craig Murray, a powerful critic of The Incompetent Empire. Stay away from PayPal.

  • I haven’t used PayPal since they stabbed WikiLeaks in the back.

    MintPress wasn’t “banned” from PayPal, it was “permanently limited”. Kind of like how you’re “detained” in Guantanamo for the rest of your life. Maybe their creepy newspeak is a way of amping up the fear by demonstrating coherence doesn’t apply to them.

    • True power is arbitrary.

  • Google has also cancelled all payments to those not taking the official position. However, its new policy states: “Due to the war in Ukraine, we will pause monetization of content that exploits, dismisses, or condones the war.”

    As it is obvious every corporate news network exploits the war for profit, perhaps there should be some civil disobedience here. Maybe en masse clicking on CNN videos in Youtube and flagging them.

  • Remember the Ministry of Truth in “1984”?

    • “Nina Jankowicz studies the intersection of democracy and technology in Central and Eastern Europe” says her profile and like the guy in the famous Polish joke who was half-Italian and half-Polish, she probably made herself an offer that she couldn’t understand.

    • With every new US president, I can’t help thinking that this new one is the worst, yet it keeps getting creepier and crappier every time.
      Now that we know that the War of Terror was just a new level of brainwashing and stealing our money for the private war corporations, do we still have to keep paying taxes to fund the DHS swamp?
      Cut the funding, and all the new fake czars of disinformation and whatever will evaporate. If we the taxpayers keep paying these fakes, they will say just about anything, it is not like they care about Ukraine, Russia, truth, or information.
      I mean, if a little bit of information ever made it into their dim brains, you would expect some change in their twisted ways.

  • There will be social justice, eventually, for the financiers who were trying to first consolidate their control over everybody, then punish those who do not fall in line. Case in point, today Amazon’s earnings disappointed Wall Street, after I closed my Amazon account in protest of them ruining literally everything around me (and others) in the name of better serving the customers. So I am now a happy non-customer and liberated from shopping.
    I am going to stop using PayPal, the *%$& imperialists are overplaying their hand too brazenly.

    • Bezos lost $20 billion on that one. Personal. Kinda stuff that would make anyone think…

  • Ordinary Westerners dislike the idea of a “Social Credit Score.” But it’s a great idea for control, and every corporation borrows such ideas and technology from each other.
    ~
    Democratic structures have not held up as well as we would have liked to military and industrial interests with a zillion dollars to burn and who are used to using violence and propaganda in their normal order of business.
    ~
    Objectively, internally, the Western Constitutional Democracies are doing a little better _for_their_own_citizens_ than the Chinese or the Russians, but still losing that war by rather alarming and quick attrition.

  • Elon Musk started this company. I understand he sold it off years ago. What were its censorship policies when he controlled it? Things are really escalating to a literal totalitarian existence in the so-called “free” West when every freakin’ service and public accommodation is now used to pressure every single citizen to not only absolute conformity of action but also unmitigated “group think.” You cannot be allowed to express any thought, idea or opinion that is not approved by the state administrators. They demand total control of everything.
    ~
    What a “utopia” we have created… or allowed to be rammed down our throats and up our asses. Certifiable morons like Dementia Joe rant and rail about how they are going to destroy entire nations and the citizenry who constitute them, basically stealing, murdering and threatening at will, sometimes with lethal pathogens specially engineered for the genocide they plan. And, the fool American taxpayers are supposed to unquestioningly underwrite the entire bill basically because they are being systematically lied to and deprived of critical facts and realities over all modalities of public communications. This is full spectrum oppression of our own people in order to attack and destroy other entire societies. This is outrageous, sick, psychopathic and entirely immoral. American leadership is worse than any adversary it ever faced, including their standing measuring stick, Adolph Hitler.
    ~
    May the revolution to counter this madness be swift, complete and final, as in literal cancellation of all breathing rights for these existential threats to everyone’s very life. The cure must kill the pathogens, the human viruses, and not just publicly berate or embarrass them a little bit. After all, THEY are just one rash, stupid or mistaken decision away from exterminating us and all other life on this planet.
    ~
    The crazy old cuss in the White House must no longer be accommodated in his insane quest for total power but rather be kicked out of office and sent to a psycho ward for whatever futile treatment they have for such pitiful cases. His unqualified constitutional replacement must, unfortunately be allowed to also fail in the position in order to be removed via specified due process. Unless they find her replacement before her removal, the third in line (House Speaker Nancy Pelosi) is also destined to fail and/or destroy the world with the same agenda all these warmongers are following. So, she must somehow be excised before a new, competent and non-belligerent president is found. Next in line would be the president pro tempore of the Senate, whom I believe is Pat Leahy. Is he another virulent Russophobic warmonger? I do not know, but the media claims that the $33 billion Dementia Joe just arranged for Psycho Ze to receive was approved, or is expected to be approved, by a unanimous vote. (The ass hats in Congress can always be counted on to walk in lockstep on creating or funding wars.)
    ~
    Tragic and stark-raving bonkers but the next in line after Leahy is the redoubtable Tony Blinken–the Madman Marx (“I’ll paint any car any color for $39.95”) of the State Department and chief designer of America’s glorious proxy war with Russia, and soon to be America’s accidental gunshot wound to its own head. So, don’t look for any sanity from any likely Biden replacement. His entire government is packed with true believing alpha-level Defcon-1 war mongers ready to sacrifice the lives of us all to make their point that Putin means only bad outcomes for the human race. Like, leaving him and his country alone, unmolested, without drumming up trouble in spades across his border in Ukraine, could have only made matters so much worse, at least under the paranoid confabulations of the unrelenting Neocons and their totally deranged PNAC manifesto under which President Dubya Shrub attempted to conquer the entire Middle East based on false accusations and perjury by an American secretary of state before the entire UN.
    ~
    Just think how bad matters would now stand if i) Syria was not attacked by lying American proxies, ii) Ukraine was not subjected to a coup by Vicky Nuland and her CIA cronies, iii) the Russian naval base in Russian-majority Crimea (since the 1700’s) was not threatened by takeover from Nato, iv) the ethnic Russian majority in the Southeast of Ukraine was not relentlessly shelled, killing 10’s of thousands for eight long years for objecting to the coup by extreme right-wing followers of WWII Nazis, and v) the Kiev central government, rather than signing the peace agreement (Minsk 2) it agreed upon with European guarantors Germany and France, instead pummeled the Donbas daily and invaded it twice, vi) endless thefts of Russian gas sold to third parties being stolen in transit by Ukraine which then neglects to pay for its own purchases but instead sues Russia in European kangaroo courts and wins!
    ~
    All the while Ukraine, with American collusion, incessantly tries to disrupt Russian energy sales to EU countries which desperately need the product and, after billions of dollars are sunk into building a much-needed new pipeline to Germany, Washington provokes enough discord in the form of Ukrainian aggression against the Donbas republics to put the kybosh on most, if not eventually all, Russian energy sales to the entire EU, plans for economic development, to say nothing about public health and safety concerns be damned. Washington must get its way on everything and Europe must suck it up no matter how stupid and costly. Anyone who tries to sell this whole series of events as at all rational, reasonable, fair or just to anyone but Washington’s purported interests is smoking something stronger than pot. And even that is fallacious because Washington quite conspicuously has a very foggy vision of what is best even for it. The point is, if Washington had NOT set all these absurdities into motion, what would the evil and nefarious V.V. Putin be doing right now? I’ll tell you what: just continuing what he had been doing. Just peacefully selling his much needed natural gas to Europe at reasonable prices and his thick sour crude oil to the United States to replace the Venezuelan crude the world’s hegemon has been boycotting and sanctioning from the rest of the entire world community–as if any of that is Washington’s frickin’ beeswax. Without the coup the Crimea would still be part of Ukraine, as would be the Donbas, and tens of thousands of human beings would still be alive.
    ~
    So, Putin unbound = people alive and prosperous. Putin strapped by Washington = all the already dead, economic turmoil, and prospects for many millions (even billions) more dead if these unending rounds of American brinksmanship does not come to an end before the nukes start flying. The maniacs in the White House have always had the power to prevent, or, once initiated, to stop these unending rounds of escalation. The damned addle-brained fool in the White House could stop this tomorrow, but he chooses not to. Russia must first kiss his Anglo-Saxon ass, plus virtually self-destruct economically and politically. He specifies exactly the kind of damage he wants to see done to a country that did not start this and caused the American empire no damage. How can the American people countenance this, even without knowing the facts, as they do not because of the totally controlled and manipulated lying mass media? Right now, the American public is willfully ignorant and deliberately complicit in all of the outrages of its fascist dictatorship it calls a government. The American public lolls indolently in its cultivated ignorance and stupidity, earning for itself as much culpability as its criminal leadership. I wish Caitlin had superpowers and could be unleashed physically on all these miscreants that have caused so much harm and will impose magnitudes more on fellow human beings just trying to keep living. America is a damnable place right now, and I am sure most of it knows this. Fuck them, remorseless killers that they are.

    • “Tragic and stark-raving bonkers but the next in line after Leahy is the redoubtable Tony Blinken … ”
      Lmao … Yeah you could go one thousand deep into the Chain of Command at this point and it wouldn’t make a damn bit of difference. The Belway Complex is nothing more than a factory producing replicas.
      Excellent rant. Total agreement. Thanks for the effort.

      • A wise man said “trouble begins when politicians read the newspapers that they have gaslighted”. A typical example is Adam Schiff who’s spent over five years gaslighting the New York Times about Trump and is the main drive behind the Russiagate. He regularly reads confirmation of what he’s leaked to the New York Times in… the New York Times. So it must be true! And the New York Times readers can’t doubt it when what they’ve read in the paper of Records is confirmed by… Adam Schiff himself. Can’t make that stuff up! It’s like the double confirmation when a journalist calls a source to get confirmation of what an unnamed source has said and the guy confirms because he’s heard the same thing from… the same (unnamed) source or he’s got the same source in the initial CIA gaslighting team. That’s the beauty of it (or, as Pompeo would say, “the glory of the American experiment” :o)

  • Mnar Adley: “Can you imagine if this was the norm in Russia, China or Iran? Our media would be screaming about free speech and first amendment rights. Yet, when we do it’s ok because it’s under the guise of fighting ‘Russian propaganda’. ”
    The last refuge of a scoundrel isn’t patriotism, it’s hypocrisy.
    Great read Ms. Johnson. Thanks for it.

    • Shout out from both Max Blumenthal and Jimmy Dore.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnnymVFiGFU
      They’re working the old censorship angle, not the new one where they go after you’re financing – cut ya off at the knees.
      There’s a new kid on the censorhip block apparently, goes by the name NewsGuard. Sounds more like a roach repellent product to me, but then again, maybe that was the intention.
      Max does a pretty good Obama – has the folksy neo-liberal twang down perfectly.

      • More from the Dore/Blumenthal Hypocrisy Watch, for anyone interested in “abundant and equitable” speech, aka group think.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFbnY4v5wvw
        Musk seems to be a dangerous character, all things considered, but ironically, the greatest threat he seems to pose, is that his takeover of Twitter will make it easier for free speech advocates to out him as a dangerous character.
        It is a confusing time to be alive!
        Kidding. What I like about the phase we’re in now is, everything is as it appears to be. No behind the scenes CIA trickery and Deep State shennanigans. The shadows have lifted and the forces of darkness are out in light and telling me straight to me face, “we are gonna kick down your door, steal whatever we want, bust you up good if you try to resist, and when we leave we will expect you to thank us for our visit.”

  • Go low tech. Write a check and mail it. At least while you can before the digital dollar takes over. Then if you dont toe the line, they simply stop your ability to receive income. Death of independent journalists.

  • We need to keep our independent journalists in operation. They’ve always had it tough but shutting them down is what empire has always dreamed of.

  • Are you sure you haven’t been blocked as well? I’ve received this message when I’ve tried to make a donation to you:

    This creator cannot receive PayPal payments at this time.

    This, for two weeks. Tried to send you a message via your other media outlets.

  • I could not reach to your website from my laptop, but can now from dumbphone …

  • I ceased using Paypal after they refused to forward payments for Wikileaks approximately a decade ago.

    That is enough data to know where Paypal stands on empire-building/maintenance.

    The latest news is no surprise.

  • They are running scared…. And I don’t want them to keep running. I want to see them ALL punished for what they have done worldwide

    • I don’t think ‘they’ are running scared. They are in control and easily quashing dissent. It could get much worse. There seems to be an economic squeeze in general which takes minds off of politics.

      • Quite! The “running scared” meme is a self-reassuring fallacy. The dystopian “global leaders” (aka imperialist power-junkies) are backed by the majority which sucks on the propaganda machine like piglets on a sow as proved beyond the shadow of a doubt by the Covid scam. They now know for a fact that at the slightest scare amplified by the sensation-driven corporrupt media choir, people will queue in line in a blizzard to take the orders. It’s gonna get a lot worse before it gets better.

  • The unthinkable is here
    We have trusted illusions
    Crafted lies, marinating fear
    A cascading confusion
    Embroidered as fact
    Clarity for the compliant
    Preempting future acts
    Of popular defiance
    A proxy intrusion
    By the billionaire class
    In willing collusion
    Kissing government ass
    Debate has jumped the rails
    Tech is unrestrained
    Madness has prevailed
    Mushroom clouds remain

    • Wow. Profound and in rhyme.

    • very nice poem, captures the moment.

  • Indeed, I just watched a video interview by Graham Ellwood with Gordon Dimmack in England, who has been banned and spied on and is now on the verge of bankruptcy because of interference with his independent reporting. Dimmack was one of the first on location reporters outside the court during the Assange hearings and has been working flat out to get accurate information to the people. He is being punished for it. I hope he can hold on and I encourage people to support him.

  • it’s a war on us. not just Russia, or weakening the EU or other targets–a war on the population of the 5 eyes countries.

    • If only… But it’s the same, if not worse, in non 5 eyes countries. In France, they’ve been hitting at the wallets of dissidents for years (banning them from even having a bank account!) and burying them under petty lawsuits for which they have to go to far away towns each time to get served subpoenas by captured prosecutors. Phone surveillance, death threats to loved ones, attacks by militias in places where CCTV cameras allegedly didn’t work, sexual framing with fabricated stories leaked to the media by sources “speaking on condition of anonymity because they’re not allowed to talk to the press”… The whole Orwellian enchilada!

      • Not even mentioning of course ruinous fines and jail time handed out by captured judges. In the old days, they had the ban from society, starting with Cain and his famous mark on the forehead. Now the banking and judicial mob organize media lynching to the same effect: the “patient” is stripped of his rights and dignity and becomes Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. End of the line. Don’t forget the guide on your way out.

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