Notorious conspiracist Alex Jones on Monday sued PayPal for blocking his company from using the digital transaction platform, saying it censored his show Infowars for political reasons.
“It’s at this point well-known that large tech companies, located primarily in Silicon Valley, are discriminating against politically conservative entities and individuals,” says the lawsuit, filed with the US District Court of the Northern District of California. PayPal deciding to kick Infowars off its platform has damaged Infowars’ “legitimacy … as a news organization in the eyes of the general public.”
This comes after PayPal ended its business agreement with Jones’ Infowars and its related websites in September. PayPal said Infowars “promoted hate and discriminatory intolerance against certain communities and religions,” which violated company policy.
Jones, who’s called the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting a hoax, was banned earlier this year by several tech platforms, including Facebook, Google’s YouTube, Apple’s iTunes and App Store, Spotify, LinkedIn, Vimeo and Twitter.
Jones reportedly makes money by selling items like dietary supplements and survival gear, and PayPal’s service was one of his primary payment methods.
“PayPal believes the claims in the complaint are without merit,” said Kim Eichorn, spokesperson of PayPal, in an email statement. “PayPal looks forward to vigorously defending itself.”
Jones’ lawsuit says the loss of his company’s PayPal accounts will “significantly reduce [his] income,” in an amount he “cannot calculate.” Jones is seeking at least $75,000 in damages.
Jones’ lawyer declined to comment.
First published on Oct. 2, 11:49 a.m. PT.
Updates, 1:02 p.m. PT: Adds PayPal spokesperson statement.