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PayPal Holdings Inc (Nasdaq: PYPL ) is partnering with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to investigate how extremist and hate movements in the US take advantage of financial platforms to fund criminal activities.
The initiative, which will be led by ADL’s Center on Extremism, seeks to uncover and disrupt the financial flows supporting white supremacist and anti-government groups, according to a press release issued Monday.
It will also examine the networks spreading and profiting from antisemitism, Islamophobia, racism, anti-immigrant, anti-Black, anti-Hispanic and anti-Asian bigotry, the release said.
The findings will then be shared within the financial industry, policymakers and law enforcement, according to PayPal.
In a statement, Jonathan Greenbelt, ADL chief executive officer, said, “All of us, including in the private sector, have a critical role to play in fighting the spread of extremism and hate. With this new initiative, we're setting a new standard for companies to bring their expertise to critical social issues.”
"We have a unique opportunity to further understand how hate spreads and develop key insights that will inform the efforts of the financial industry, law enforcement, and our communities in mitigating extremist threats,” he said.
The ADL’s Center on Extremism will be one of multiple partner organizations in the effort for San Jose-based PayPal, which has become one of the world’s largest online payment platforms.
As part of the initiative ADL and PayPal will create a coalition with civil rights organizations, such as the League of United Latin American Citizens, to protect marginalized communities from extremism.
PayPal’s chief risk officer and executive vice president of risk and platforms Aaron Karczmer told Reuters, “We’re hoping to have impact on fighting hatred and extremism, which sadly seems to be surging in society across the globe.”
"As the son of a Holocaust survivor I know all too well the real world impact that come from hatred and extremist group,” Karczmer said.
Hate groups began shifting their fundraising efforts online in the mid-2000s, using platforms like PayPal, GoFundMe and Amazon.com Inc. By 2015, those payment processors began clamping down and banning people associated with far-right extremism and white supremacy, USA Today reported.
As larger platforms like PayPal crack down on funding, extremist groups have found new ways to raise money, including the increased use of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.
PayPal is not the first financial platform to look at the role fintech plans in enabling extremist groups, Politico noted.
Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol, Stripe stopped processing payments to former President Donald Trump’s campaign website, which he used for fundraising.
Mastercard Incorporated, Visa Inc and The American Express Company stopped donating to GOP lawmakers who challenged the results of the presidential race, while PayPal’s Venmo banned an organizer of the “Stop the Steal” rally that helped fuel the riot.
Source: Equities News