The far-left Southern Poverty Law Center, known for its broad “hate group” list, has partnered with the likes of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter and YouTube to censor or ban conservatives.
And now the CEO of PayPal has admitted that the popular online payment platform relies on SPLC when it considers blacklisting certain groups and individuals.
Dan Schulman told the Wall Street Journal that SPLC helps to inform “PayPal’s decisions,” noted Breitbart News.
“There are those both on the right and left that help us. Southern Poverty Law Center has brought things. We don’t always agree. We have our debates with them. We are very respectful with everyone coming in. We will do the examination carefully,” Schulman said. “We’ll talk when we don’t agree with a finding: We understand why you think that way, but it still goes into the realm of free speech for us.”
Schulman said the company’s most important “value” is “diversity and inclusion.”
He recalled PayPal pulling out of an investment in North Carolina because the state passed a bill making it mandatory for people to use the bathroom of their biological sex. The company’s “defining moment,” he said, was the Charlottesville rally in 2017, after which PayPal began blacklisting conservatives.
While the SPLC “hate list” features radical movements such as the Ku Klux Klan, in recent years it has included organizations that promote traditional marriage, such as the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Family Research Council.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation said last year that online payment processors such as PayPal have become “de facto internet censors.”
PayPal, Breitbart reported, has blacklisted WikiLeaks, Infowars, conservative commentator and Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes, political activist Tommy Robinson, investigative journalist Laura Loomer, blogger Roosh V, free speech social network Gab, YouTube alternative BitChute and a black metal music label.
WND reported in August 2017 PayPal restricted Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch and his American Freedom Defense Initiative from receiving donations.
Partners for ‘inclusion’
PayPal is just one of a number of big tech companies partnering with SPLC despite even a Washington Post Magazine reporter questioning SPLC’s credibility as an arbiter of “hate.”
Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, names SPLC as one of its partners for “inclusion.” Google.org began funding SPLC in 2016 and has given the organization $250,000 to fund a redesign of its Teaching Tolerance website.
Google also uses SPLC to monitor “hate speech” on YouTube as part of the video site’s “Trusted Flagger” program
WND reported last June the Religious Freedom Coalition was dumped from the Amazon Smile charity program because SPLC labeled it a “hate group.”
When RFC questioned Amazon about the decision, a lawyer issued a statement saying the company “relies on the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control and the Southern Poverty Law Center to determine which registered charities fall into [the category of excluded] groups.”
In July, the vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., asked Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to stop the retail giant’s “sale of literature and music published by entities identified as ‘hate groups’ by the Southern Poverty Law Center.”
In 2017, SPLC acknowledged it has the support of Apple, saying in a statement the tech giant “has been at the forefront of the fight against hate in the tech industry, and we are truly humbled by its support of our work.”
Facebook has SPLC is on a list of “external experts and organizations” it uses “to inform our hate speech policies,” Facebook spokeswoman Ruchika Budhraja told the Daily Caller last June.
Two months later, Apple, Facebook and YouTube banned Alex Jones and Infowars last August as purveyors of hate within hours of each other.
Twitter lists SPLC as a “safety partner” to combat “hateful conduct and harassment,” the Daily Caller found.
WND reported last July moderate Muslims and counter-terrorist activists are increasingly being restricted by Silicon Valley, while terrorist content remains on social-media platforms, according to researchers.
Some of the targeted individuals and groups are fighting back, however.
SPLC was forced to pay a $3.3 million settlement to Maajid Nawaz and his Quilliam Foundation. Nawaz was labeled an “anti-Muslim extremist” though he identifies as a Muslim himself.
Last year, GuideStar, a widely consulted directory of charitable organizations, removed its flags of 46 charities listed by SPLC as hate groups after pressure from critics.
WND reported the FBI’s admission that it has been working with SPLC has prompted a demand for more information from a Republican lawmaker.
SPLC, while condemning groups for “hate” for supporting biblical sexuality and marriage standards, has been linked to two shooting attacks.
In 2012, Floyd Corkins chose the headquarters of the Family Research Council as a target based on SPLC’s labeling of it as a “hate group.” And last year, James Hodgkinson, inspired by SPLC, opened fire on Republican lawmakers as they practiced for the annual congressional baseball game, severely wounding Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La.