PayPal suspends accounts associated with Charlottesville organizers

PayPal suspends accounts associated with Charlottesville organizers
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PayPal has cut off payments to white supremacist groups associated with the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., that turned deadly over the weekend, CBS News reported.

According to CBS, civil rights group Color of Change said that PayPal has severed the account belonging to Unity and Security for America, a group run by Charlottesville rally organizer Jason Kessler.

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Kessler was run off from his own press conference after the rally by angry counterprotesters.

On Saturday, 21-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. was charged with second-degree murder after police say he plowed his car into another vehicle and a crowd of protesters. The crash killed a 32-year-old woman.

The Southern Poverty Law Center reported on Tuesday that Kessler and others associated with the rally have been using PayPal to fund their organizations.

A spokesman for PayPal confirmed that the company has suspended more than three dozen accounts associated with hate groups but would not comment on any specific account.

Franz Paasche, a vice president of corporate affairs at PayPal, wrote in a blog post Tuesday that the company has always been proactive in policing its site for hate groups.

“Regardless of the individual or organization in question, we work to ensure that our services are not used to accept payments or donations for activities that promote hate, violence or racial intolerance,” Paasche wrote. “This includes organizations that advocate racist views, such as the KKK, white supremacist groups or Nazi groups."

“If we become aware of a website or organization using our services that may violate our policies, our highly trained team of experts addresses each case individually and carefully evaluates the website itself, any associated organizations, and their adherence to our policy,” he continued. “Ultimately, this team of professionals makes a recommendation that leads to the final determination on our ability to maintain our relationship with the website’s owner.”