Multiple QAnon influencers are using PayPal to raise funds, despite the platform's rules and its new effort to fight extremism

QAnon PayPal

Citation Andrea Austria / Media Matters

Update (9/17/21): Following the publication of this article, PayPal accounts were taken down for seven of the QAnon influencers mentioned here: Spaceshot76, Terpsichore Maras-Lindeman, Praying Medic, Tracy Diaz, Amazing Polly, Truth and Art TV, and Patriots’ Soapbox.

Multiple influencers who support the QAnon conspiracy theory have been using the payment processor PayPal to make money, likely in violation of the platform’s rules and despite PayPal’s recent partnership with the Anti-Defamation League to investigate extremism on financial platforms.

QAnon is a far-right conspiracy theory and its supporters have been tied to multiple violent incidents, including the January 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol. Multiple government agencies have issued internal warnings of possible domestic terrorism regarding adherents of the conspiracy theory, including a warning from the FBI in June that QAnon supporters could carry out more violent acts. Members of the National Guard were also forced to stay in Washington, D.C., after the events of January 6 in part because of a QAnon conspiracy theory that former President Donald Trump would be inaugurated as president again on March 4.

PayPal’s User Agreement seemingly prohibits QAnon-related activity. The platform prohibits users from “act[ing] in a manner that is defamatory, trade libelous, threatening or harassing,” or “provid[ing] false, inaccurate or misleading information.” PayPal has previously banned some QAnon influencers, such as Jordan Sather and 8kun owner Jim Watkins. Additionally, PayPal in July announced a partnership with the Anti-Defamation League “to fight extremism and hate through the financial industry and across at-risk communities.”

Multiple other platforms have previously cracked down on QAnon, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok, along with fellow payment processing platform Cash App.

Yet multiple QAnon influencers have been using PayPal to make money from followers. Those include: