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Alex Jones Sues PayPal

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By George Khoury, Esq. on October 03, 2018 7:14 AM

Though PayPal is used to seeing its fair share of litigation, the most recent headline-grabbing case against the online payment processor is courtesy of the InfoWars founder Alex Jones and his claim of conservative bias.

If you don't know Alex Jones, well, don't check social media, because he's been banned from most of the major platforms. When PayPal followed suit with Facebook, Twitter, and others, Jones claims that the payment processor went too far. In addition to spreading hyperbole, falsehoods, and conspiracy theories, Jones also sells products on his website, like fluoride-free toothpaste, food rations, and InfoWars apparel. The PayPal ban literally hit his bottom line.

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This whole case seems baffling. Despite his untrusting nature, Jones accepted payment on his website via PayPal. PayPal provided Jones with a 10 day notice, which seems to be enough, though not much, time to make the change to his not-really-that-impressive ecommerce site, and withdraw any remaining funds. Particularly in the times we live in where there are countless other services, Jones doesn't seem to be doing his reputation any favors by drawing more attention to this.

While Jones's persona seems to crave any and all attention, this matter is likely to have the Streisand effect. Whereas no one would have really noticed that Jones got dropped from PayPal except Jones's own customers, maybe, by filing the lawsuit, countless more people will be aware of his getting dropped by PayPal, furthering the tarnishing his reputation.

Generally, Jones is being kicked out of online communities due to rampant policy violations, usually dealing with hate speech and insensitivity, which he tends to believe is his exercise of free speech. Unfortunately for Jones, generally social media isn't a public forum unless a person is a politician or government official acting in an official capacity, and even then, it's still a limited public forum.

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