Sunday, March 4, 2012

How Censorship Might Hurt PayPal

I've read a great deal about censorship and the PayPal ordeal that's been transpiring. I've heard it's not PayPal's fault because banks are putting pressure on them.

But one of my own books was targeted last week, Skater Boy, and I didn't even fall into any of the banned/taboo subjects. My book was censored, at random, because of tag words that had very little to do with the storyline. A search engine caught it and the book was taken down automatically on a retail web site. It's one thing to be censored for something you've done that falls within the guidelines of the taboo topics. But it's outrageous to have a book banned and censored that doesn't even fall into any of the taboo categories. I agree that all businesses have the right to pick and choose what they want to sell, however, get the facts straight, act like responsible business people, and take this a little more seriously so innocent people aren't targeted. Don't depend on search engines to do your work. This is serious. Do the work yourself and vet the books that are being banned to make sure you aren't targeting innocent people. All someone had to do was read the first line of my book and they would have seen both characters were over twenty-one years old. If we leaned anything from the McCarthy era, the least we should have learned is to get the facts right!!

For those who don't know anything about McCarthyism, here's a link and basic description. Interesting how it relates so closely to the recent censorship situation with regard to innocent authors being targeted:

During the McCarthy era, thousands of Americans were accused of being Communists or communist sympathizers and became the subject of aggressive investigations and questioning before government or private-industry panels, committees and agencies. The primary targets of such suspicions were government employees, those in the entertainment industry, educators and union activists. Suspicions were often given credence despite inconclusive or questionable evidence, and the level of threat posed by a person's real or supposed leftist associations or beliefs was often greatly exaggerated. Many people suffered loss of employment and/or destruction of their careers; some even suffered imprisonment. Most of these punishments came about through trial verdicts later overturned,[1] laws that would be declared unconstitutional,[2] dismissals for reasons later declared illegal[3] or actionable,[4] or extra-legal procedures that would come into general disrepute.

Interestingly enough, I wanted to buy a gift for someone online earlier this evening. I'm not mentioning the name of the company because they have nothing to do with this. But it's a small company, and they evidently only use PayPal for online purchases. At least that's what I saw. Though I've never seen anything like this before, I was automatically directed to PayPal at a certain point during the transaction.

I tried and tried, six times, to go back and see where I could enter a credit card number in order to avoid PayPal. But they continued to redirect me to PayPal.

This annoyed me so much, I finally contacted the owners of the company with this e-mail.

I would like to order a basic starter kit, but I'm being directed to PayPal in order to make the purchase. Though I have a PayPal account, I don't use PayPal any longer due to their recent censorship rules, and I don't see anywhere I can use a credit card.

I live locally, in Buckingham, with a New Hope postal address. I'd like to give the basic starter kit to someone as a birthday gift on March 17th. If there is a way I can avoid PayPal completely and get the product, please let me know. Below is my contact info.

I know this is small, and it's only one purchase. But after what I've been through personally with my own book, and what I've seen others go through with their books, there's no way I'm using PayPal any time soon. Even if it's not PayPal's fault and it is the fault of the banks, I can live without PayPay's decision and censorship of any kind. As an adult, though I have never written any of the taboo topics that are causing books to be banned, I don't need anyone telling me what I can or cannot read or write, thank you.


Aaron Yeagle said...

There are many issues involved here and I don't believe censorship is one of them.

The banks and credit card processing companies use "profiling" to protect their interests. You see, certain businesses and / or products have a higher than average chargeback rate - meaning returns, cancellations or complaints which creates a monetary loss for the banks and processing companies.

These businesses / products are typically in the adult arena ... people signing up for porn sites then complaining they "never agreed to a subscription" or what not.

What's funny is, I could not get a credit card processing company for my business because SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is considered a "high risk" business as there are tons of scammer SEO guys out there who've quintupled the cancellation / return rate in the industry. so in order for me to process credit cards for my business I was forced to lie on my application by omitting SEO as a service I provided!

That's what it comes down to ... banks protecting their profits.

ryan field said...


Ryan said...

paypal is own bt ebay isnt it? wonder if ebay is going to start putting a limit on what people sell?

ryan field said...

I think so. Not sure. I had a few bad experiences with ebay and don't go there often. And they are selling my used books for way more than people can buy them for on Amazon. I've posted about it before to warn people.