SAMMAMISH, WA – After online payments system PayPal stopped offering services to Epik, the domain name registrar company says it’s being targeted on political grounds and not what Paypal has said to be a financial basis. A number of open letters have been posted by Epik responding to the issue, and the company cited that ‘service risk’ was the reason PayPal gave over the withdrawal of Epik’s support. While PayPal says it regrets the decision and the inconvenience caused to Epik, it further stated the decision is final.
Epik believes the action PayPal has taken is an attempt to deplatform the domain registrar. Epik is known for offering its services to far-right groups and conservative voices.
According to Domain Name Wire, Rob Davis, the Epik SVP of Strategy and Communications said in an open letter to PayPal,
It would appear that in a direct effort to silence conservative voices, PayPal has terminated our payment services ‐ just two weeks before a Presidential election.”
Epik was founded in 2009 by technology entrepreneur, author, TEDx speaker, and philanthropist Rob Monster, who has stood firm in support of web sites and domains he believes need such support to foster free expression and free speech once calling the company the “Swiss Bank of Domains”.
Last year, Braden Pollock, widely known in the domain name industry, resigned from Epik’s Board of Directors, with little about why outside of a quote on Twitter that stated he and CEO “don’t share the same ideology”.
Rob Davis further said that PayPal’s action is biased, targeted, and subversive and it could minimize the freedom that PayPal customers experience.
According to Mashable, a PayPal spokesperson said,
PayPal has sophisticated risk controls in place to alert our teams to potentially violative activity occurring on our platforms. The company independently reviews each matter and bases its decisions on the management of risk and compliance with our long-standing User Agreement.”
Mashable also noted that a “source close to the situation” believes PayPal stopped offering services to Epik due to its use of Masterbucks, Epik’s own digital alternative currency that it said could be converted into US dollars, and that the company may not have gone through “the appropriate legal steps” to manage it.
Either way, whether political, competitive, financial or otherwise, many who stand up for particular positions, are finding out the hard way, that it is becoming increasingly difficult to go against the grains for anything these days – that does not conform to the norm.
About The Author: John Colascione is Chief Executive Officer of Internet Marketing Services Inc. He specializes in Website Monetization, is a Google AdWords Certified Professional, authored a ‘how to’ book called ”Mastering Your Website‘, and is a key player in several Internet related businesses through his search engine strategy brand Searchen Networks®