Amazon, PayPal cut ties with Proud Boys

Amazon, PayPal cut ties with Proud Boys
© Getty Images

Amazon and PayPal are distancing themselves from the far-right extremist group the Proud Boys, which has been involved in violent clashes at political demonstrations and has been labeled a hate group.

Buzzfeed News reported that Amazon had removed merchandise from its marketplace promoting the Proud Boys after the news outlet contacted the company.

A spokesperson for PayPal confirmed to The Hill that it also had removed the Proud Boys from its platform, as well as the group’s founder, Gavin McInnes, and three antifascist groups.

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“Striking the necessary balance between upholding free expression and open dialogue and protecting principles of tolerance, diversity and respect for all people is a challenge that many companies are grappling with today,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

“We work hard to achieve the right balance and to ensure that our decisions are values-driven and not political. We carefully review accounts and take action as appropriate. We do not allow PayPal services to be used to promote hate, violence, or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory.”

Amazon did not immediately respond when asked for comment.

The Proud Boys gained notoriety last year during violent clashes at the Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Va. Last month, several members were arrested after a street brawl following a speech that McInnes delivered at New York City’s Metropolitan Republican Club.

Facebook confirmed late last month that McInnes is banned from Facebook and Instagram, citing the company’s rules against hate groups.