If you’re a regular donor to the Daily Sceptic and got an email from me in the small hours of the morning telling you that PayPal had closed our account and urging you to set up a new donation with a link to our donate page, don’t panic. It wasn’t a scam. PayPal really has shut down our account and the email really was from me.
I’ll tell you the full story in a moment, but just to be clear – this won’t affect the majority of people making regular donations, just those whose donations are processed by PayPal. So unless you’ve received an email from me with instructions about how to donate without using PayPal, please don’t cancel your recurring donation. I repeat: Please don’t cancel your donation. This just applies to people whose donations are being processed by PayPal and I’ve written to all of you.
The first I heard about this was on Thursday afternoon last week when I received a notification from my personal PayPal account informing me that it was being shut down because I’d violated the company’s ‘Acceptable Use Policy’. I looked at that policy and it covers things like fraud and money laundering so my first thought was it must be a mistake. Then, a few minutes later, I got another notification, this one from the Daily Sceptic’s PayPal account. That, too, had been shut down and for the same reason. Eh? That was odd. Then, another email, this one from the Free Speech Union’s PayPal account. Same story – the Acceptable Use Policy.
Now call me a cynic, but the chances of all three accounts violating the same policy within minutes of one another struck me as a bit implausible. Was something else going on?