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PayPal is an online money transfer and worldwide online payment system which processes financial transactions for online marketplaces, auction sites and various other platforms.
In December 1998, the security software company Confinity was launched by Max Levchin, Peter Thiel, Luke Nosek and Ken Howery. The following year, PayPal was launched as a money exchange service for Confinity. In March 2000, Confinity merged with Elon Musk's online banking company X.com. In 2002, PayPal became public with an IPO listed at $13 per share, generating $61 million for the company that day. In July of that year, PayPal was acquired by eBay for approximately $1.5 billion. In September 2014, eBay announced PayPal would be separated into its own public company.
Operation Avenge Assange
Beginning in December 2011, Amazon took down their hosting of the WikiLeaks servers less than a day after being contacted by the office of Senator Joe Lieberman and was then followed by PayPal, Visa, Mastercard and MasterCard. In retaliation, Operation Avenge Assange was launched, which called for a DDoS of PayPal. In July, 14 individuals, known collectively as the "PayPal 14", were charged with attempting to disrupt PayPal's operations as part of the campaign. In December the following year, 13 of PayPal 14 plead guilty to various charges related to the operation.
2018 Proud Boys and Antifa Ban
On November 9th, 2018, BuzzFeed News reporter Blake Montgomery tweeted that PayPal would be cancelling accounts associated with Gavin McInnes, the Proud Boys movement and various Antifa groups (shown below).
That day, The Verge published a statement from a PayPal spokesperson addressing the account bannings:
"Striking the necessary balance between upholding free expression and open dialogue and protecting principles of tolerance, diversity and respect for all people is a challenge that many companies are grappling with today. We work hard to achieve the right balance and to ensure that our decisions are values-driven and not political. We carefully review accounts and take action as appropriate. We do not allow PayPal services to be used to promote hate, violence, or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory."
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