PayPal Threatens Deactivation of Publishers’ Accounts Over Erotic Content

by Betsy Gomez

Starting February 18, PayPal began contacting independent e-book publishers about new policies regarding erotic content. PayPal told publishers that they cannot sell erotic material that depicts incest, pseudo-incest, rape fantasies, bestiality (including non-human fantasy characters), and BDSM. Selling these materials will result in the deactivation of the publishers’ PayPal accounts. As a result of PayPal’s new policy, many publishers are taking down erotic work.

Anyone who uses PayPal is subject to their terms of service. The banning of the erotic work may have less to do with PayPal’s opinion of the work and more to do with business practices. Commentary on both ZDNet and Daily Kos notes that erotic work carries a high likelihood of buyer’s remorse, and credit card companies charge higher fees for returns on such high-risk content. PayPal likely instituted to practice to avoid these fees.

For more on the story, visit ZDNet, Daily Kos, and TechCrunch.

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Betsy Gomez is the Web Editor for CBLDF.