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Big Nannie is Watching You

When I saw Puppy Blender’s post about Bill Quick getting threatened by Paypal, I wrote it off as just some crank filing a complaint because something Bill had posted and Paypal over-reacting. But then I see this:
PayPal Set to Fine Users
Now think about this: What would your reaction be if the bank that you have your checking account parked in sent you a letter saying “We don’t like some of the stuff you’re spending your money on, so we’re gonna fine your ass every time you cross this line we’ve drawn in the sand.” How long would it take for you to clean that account out and transfer it to a different bank? Because that is all Paypal is: a digital checking account that handles deposits and withdrawals on your behalf, with a processing fee charged against the account to cover their processing and administrative costs. Sure, just like a terrestrial bank, they need to monitor the activity according to applied laws to protect themselves from becoming party to an illegal activity, such as the pharmeceuticals and off shore gambling, but that’s it. But they also throw anything resembling porn into the mix:

Its policy on adult materials is especially stringent, banning not only any material or services suggesting sexual activity but also “non-adult services whose Web site marketing can be reasonably misconstrued as allowing adult material or services to be purchased using PayPal.”
(emphasis mine)

I re-read that paragraph and I’m just incredulous. According to that standard, if you used Paypal to pay for a subscription to magazines like Maxim or Cosmo, you’d be in violation. If you sell condoms or sex toys, you’re toast. If you sell tee shirts and use a woman sporting huge gazongas as your model, you are probably crossing their line. God forbid if your model is also showcasing your brand of thong underwear.

If any television station’s banker applied that kind of morals clause in their contract, just about every beer company blurb currently on the air would have to be yanked. If an alternative rag like the Village Voice had to abide by that kind of standard being handed down by their banker, their classified pages would be gone and they’d be out of business.

But this banker, Paypal, under their new overlords at eBay, have no problem handing down an edict like this to their retail clients, because they feel confident in their 800 pound gorilla dominance in the online fee processing market.

So will some dot com era refugees please get busy and knock these bastards back on their heels?

UPDATE: Evil Glenn has some alternatives. Like him, I’ve never heard of any of them, but I’m gonna find out, fast, because I was just about to pull the trigger and hook Playpal into all my sites, and my clients’ sites, and at least two of them would have been shut down in a heartbeat.

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