Financial services company PayPal has announced a new partnership with not-for-profit-making organization – the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which is aimed at investigating how the eponymous platform is taken advantage of by extremists and hate movements in the United States and used to fund their criminal activities. According to PayPal and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the initiative will be led through the ADL’s Centre on Extremism. The partnership is, therefore, focused on demystifying and abating the financial flows that support white supremacists and organizations that are against the government.
The research will also look into movements and extremists that are using the platform for spreading and advancing movements such as antisemitism, Islamophobia, racism, anti-immigrant, anti-Black, anti-Hispanic, and anti-Asian bigotry.
In a recent interview, PayPal’s Chief Risk Officer and Executive Vice President for Risk and Platforms said that “we’re hoping to have an impact on fighting hatred and extremism, which sadly seems to be surging in society across the globe. As the son of a Holocaust survivor, I know all too well the real-world impact that comes from hatred and extremist groups.”
PayPal revealed that the information collected at the end of the research inquiry will be shared across other financial institutions in the industry as well as policymakers and law enforcement agencies.
This is not the company’s first attempt at ensuring that its platform isn’t fuelling any notorious and illegal activity. Last year, it teamed up with a handful of academics and criminologists to research how payments systems are used to promote the trafficking of illegal firearms. PayPal also formed a partnership with Polaris, another non-profit group to combat the trafficking of humans through a joint Financial Intelligence Unit. PayPal has also taken several actions against businesses peddling extremism that were attempting to use its platforms over the years.
The company, with all the partnerships and initiatives, hopes to make a positive social impact, and according to Chief Risk Officer Aaron Karczmer, the company has developed quite a handful of systems to tackle and even bar illegal activity and flows through its platform.
CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) – Jonathan Greenblatt, talking about the partnership said that “we have a unique opportunity to further understand how hate spreads and develop key insights that will inform the efforts of the financial industry, law enforcement, and our communities in mitigating extremist threats.”
The initiative also entails PayPal and ADL working with other civil rights organizations such as the League of United Latin American Citizens.