Yes, they really said that
|PayPal dropped us as a customer early in the morning on August 28, 2019, with no warning at all.|
When we called PayPal—after many years of using them as our payment processor with no issues whatsoever—they refused to allow us to speak with anyone, and instead played this recorded message:
|We appreciate you choosing PayPal as your payment partner. Unfortunately, we are unable to continue offering our services to you at this time, due to the nature of your business, or the activity in your PayPal account, and the risk it poses to PayPal. This decision can’t be overturned. If you owe refunds to any of your buyers, you can use the money in your PayPal account to refund them. The money in your PayPal account will be held for 180 days. After 180 days, we’ll email you information on how to withdraw your money.|
|Left high and dry by a financial behemoth intent on financial censorship, we scrambled to find a replacement, and settled on Stripe, “The new standard in online payments.”|
|From August 30 until today, September 4, all was fine, until we received an email from our new “business partner”:|
|I’m writing to let you know that we are no longer able to accept payments for MTP after 09/06/2019. After a recent review of your website and account information, we’ve found that your business presents a higher level of risk than we’re able to work with. Specifically, your business is in violation of our Stripe Services Agreement, section A.7.b (“Restricted Businesses and Activities”).|
Additionally, we request that you remove any references to Stripe on your site, including any code, such as API keys and any plugins. We can provide you with two days to switch to a new provider. After that, you won’t be able to accept additional charges on your account, but we will continue making transfers to your bank account until you receive all of your funds.
If you believe we have made an error in this determination, or have since removed violating content, please let us know.
|Section A.7.b in the Stripe Services Agreement states:|
|engages in, encourages, promotes or celebrates unlawful violence toward any group based on race, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or any other immutable characteristic|
|When we emailed Stripe and wrote that “none of our books ‘engages in, encourages, promotes or celebrates unlawful violence toward any group based on race, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or any other immutable characteristic,’” we received the following:|
I’m sorry that we cannot support your business going forward due to a violation of our Terms of Service.
If you’d like to use Stripe for a different business, we’d recommend writing in to our Sales team. They can discuss your business with you and evaluate whether or not we can support it:
We’d also recommend thoroughly reviewing our Restricted Businesses List ahead of time to make sure you’re working within our Services Agreement:
Hopefully we can make exceptions for businesses like yours in the future but at this time, unfortunately, we are unable to support. I know this isn’t the answer you were hoping for, please feel free to get back to me with any questions you have.
|We don’t know what the future holds for a new payment processor, but we do know the enemy is making it harder and harder each day for all of us to read what we want.|
So, if you’ve ever wanted to get any of our books—and pay via credit or debit card—now’s the time to do it.
Unlike PayPal, Stripe has given us—and you—a few days before they pull the plug.
When they start banning books whose only crime is their candor, we all have a decision to make:
DO WE GIVE UP AND LET THEM TELL US WHAT WE CAN READ, OR DO WE FIGHT?
We’ve already made our decision.
Thanks for your support.
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