Issue #400

Sent to members on October 10, 2022

PayPal Shows Why I Don’t Like Being A Tech Dependent

Paypal published a new policy late last week that was set to go into effect next month. These kind of policy updates happen all the time with tech companies and usually they are met with a yawn. But, this one raised some eyebrows.

In the new policy, Paypal states that they would target anybody “sending, posting, or publication of any messages, content, or materials” that “promote misinformation”. And not only that…

If they deem you promoted misinformation, they would fine you by directly taking $2,500 from your Paypal account. Per incident.

Now, the backlash was strong. And since then, Paypal has backed off with the usual BS excuses. They basically said it was an accident. How annoyingly childish! But, the fact that it happened at all shows the true nature of Paypal. It was not an accident. Companies don’t accidentally publish changes to their terms of service. That’s called lying.

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A private company openly stated that they would penalize their customers if they posted any message on the internet that they, in their sole discretion, determined to be “misinformation”.

Keep in mind, Paypal is also a company that most people hook up to their bank accounts and has the ability to do debits. Does that mean that Paypal would deduct $2,500 from your bank account if they thought you spread misinformation?

If you think this is hyperbole, think again. We watched the Canadians openly block supporters of their trucker protests from the financial system. We even watched GoFundMe block any ability to raise funds to support that effort…. all because they were protesting actions of the Canadian government.

And, the current push toward central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) seeks to spread this kind of control to governments. A centrally managed and controlled digital currency would mean the ability to cut anybody off from finance, for any reason the powers that be make up. And, trust me, “misinformation” will indeed be top of the list.

“Misinformation”. The label given to anything that questions the government-approved narrative. It is the equivalent of “wrong speak” from Orwell’s book 1984.

This is where things will go if they are allowed. This action by Paypal just rang the alarm bells.

Nobody wants anybody knowingly spreading lies. But at the same time, let’s be real. The chief spreaders of “misinformation” are usually the mainstream media itself. But, I guess, because they are big corporations that work as part of the power structure, they’re allowed to do it with impunity. The rest of us can be fined, warned and penalized…. often without even so much as a person to call to ask why and fight back.

I could go on. This stuff is a really big deal.

As a long-time blogger, I strongly support the freedom of speech. It is absolutely paramount to a free society. I am practically an absolutist on this point.

At the same time, I have used Paypal for a long time. Many of my clients and customers use Paypal. I have set Paypal up on a lot of sites. Paypal is almost a necessary utility to online business these days.

Yet, here they are playing these kinds of games. And like I said, despite the fact they caved to pressure and backtracked, the fact that they did it at all shows where they’re at internally.

You’re seeing the same things with some banks and credit card companies.

There have been instances where email companies have shut people down for saying “incorrect” things to their subscribers. Instances of web hosts cutting off service to websites because they don’t like what is being said.

This is the danger of big tech and over-centralization of power.

And it is why I’m an advocate for what I call digital sovereignty.

I will always promote and support free speech even if I hate what they’re saying. I will defend their right to say it. Period. But, digital sovereignty is about controlling your own destiny so that no single company can permanently harm your website or business. It means you’re in control.

Sure, we may use companies like Paypal. I do. But, I’m not dependent on them and I am sure to keep a limited balance on my account.

I recommend you do the same.

Paypal has showed their true colors. And, let’s be clear… there have been a LOT of incidents with Paypal freezing funds over the years. I’ve talked to SOOOO many people who have had to go to war with Paypal to unlock access to THEIR money. And it had nothing to do with “misinformation”.

It will just get worse when you get a bunch of arrogant dweebs inside of Paypal HQ scanning our sites to see if they approve of what we’re saying.

Frankly, they can go screw themselves.

I will continue to advocate for digital sovereignty. I have also helped a lot of clients bring various aspects of their business “in house” when it makes sense. It almost always saves them money. But, it also means they have more control because they own their own digital assets and nobody can take it away because they decide to play footsie with the dark clouds of mob rule that seem to be building.

A little more reading if you’re interested:

Is Your Online Business Protected Against The Unexpected? 6 Points Of Online Business Self-Reliance And Digital Sovereignty

Tech Talk

Easy Digital Downloads got an update to version 3.1. They added 10 new blocks for the block editor so you can put buy buttons and other things right inside your pages easily. They also did some updates to reporting. Although, if you see my most recent article, you’ll see that part of those updates may be tying it into the Awesome Motive ecosystem even more. Which, frankly, is annoying.

On a related note to my recent article, CrocoBlock published a piece on their blog about the recent acquisitions in the WordPress space and asks what’s good and bad about them. There’s definitely been far more of them in the last year or so than in the past.

My favorite email list solution – FluentCRM – just celebrated their 2nd anniversary. It is now powering 25,000 businesses (including mine, I may add), is rated 4.9 out of 5 stars, and has been downloaded over 200K times. I’ve really enjoyed watching this product grow, watching the company behind it grow…. and frankly, FluentCRM is WAY more mature as a product than you might even expect at this point. It is just… really good.

It also happens to be a strong tool in my arsenal toward digital sovereignty.

Anyway, as you might expect, they’re offering a 30% discount on your first year as part of this event. It is worth it. And will save you a TON of money over using hosted options like ConvertKit and others.

I can also help you convert over to FluentCRM if you’re confused on how to do it. I’ve now done it so many times for clients I’ve lost count.

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