Conservative blogger Pamela Geller says she has been threatened with discontinuation of her online payment account by PayPal, the most widely used service of its kind.
On her popular Web site, Atlas Shrugs, Geller posted the text of an e-mail notice she received Saturday morning from PayPal's Acceptable Use Policy Department.
"[A]fter a recent review of your account, it has been determined that you are currently in violation of PayPal's Acceptable Use Policy," the PayPal e-mail said. "Under the Acceptable Use Policy, PayPal may not be used to send or receive payments for items that promote hate, violence, racial intolerance or the financial exploitation of a crime."
Geller said similar "acceptable use" violation notices were also sent by PayPal to two organizations she helped establish, the Freedom Defense Initiative (FDI) and Stop Islamicization of America (SIOA).
PayPal is a division of the online market eBay, whose former CEO Meg Whitman recently won the Republican gubernatorial nomination in California
Geller helped organize a major protest against the "Ground Zero Mosque" in New York City. The shutdown notices from PayPal, Geller said in a telephone interview Saturday, came after she received widespread media attention and sponsored an advertising campaign that offered support to former Muslims threatened for renouncing the faith. Her activism is funded almost entirely by small online contributions from readers.
An Associated Press article about Geller last month quoted Faiza Ali, of the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who accused Geller of a "long-standing history of anti-Muslim bigotry." Geller said Saturday she is considering pursuing legal action against PayPal's attempt to attach a "hate" label to her site.
"What do they expect me to do, stop blogging about jihad?" said Geller, whose blog emphasizes national security issues, Mideast policy and the War on Terror. "These are strange times. And they're going to get stranger still."
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