Tech Apple Pay Is Cutting Off White Supremacists Apple and PayPal have started to disable payment support from websites selling white nationalist and Nazi apparel following this weekend’s events in Charlottesville. Originally posted on August 16, 2017, 21:42 GMT Updated on Share
A screenshot of some the product offerings from vinlandclothing.com, which was banned from using Apple Pay and PayPal for selling Nazi apparel.
The most valuable company in the world is taking a stand against websites selling apparel and paraphernalia from white nationalists and hate groups.
On Wednesday, Apple confirmed to BuzzFeed News that it had disabled Apple Pay support for a handful of websites that sold sweaters with Nazi logos, T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase “White Pride,” and a bumper sticker showing a car plowing into stick figure demonstrators. Following Saturday’s Charlottesville demonstrations, where one woman was killed by a car driven by a white nationalist, the iPhone-maker blocked three white nationalist sites from using Apple Pay.
Apple was unable to provide comment for this story at the time of publication; A spokesperson referred BuzzFeed News to the company’s guidelines for Apple Pay, which forbid the service’s incorporation into sites promoting hate, intolerance, and violence. Apple CEO Tim Cook sent an email to employees Wednesday night announcing donations to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League, saying that he disagreed with the president drawing a moral equivalence between Nazis and white nationalists and those who opposed them.
Apple’s move to distance itself from these sites comes as a number of technology companies have faced intense scrutiny for enabling the websites or social media accounts of white nationalist and white supremacist organizations. On Monday, both GoDaddy and Google removed the registration capabilities of The Daily Stormer, a white supremacist blog, in response to its posts about the events in Charlottesville.
“We’ve seen the terror of white supremacy & racist violence before,” Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote on Twitter on Monday. “It’s a moral issue – an affront to America.
We must all stand against it.”
Uber , Facebook, Twitter, MailChimp, and WordPress have all taken varying levels of action against white supremacists on their platforms in the wake of Charlottesville. Airbnb banned people tied to white supremacist groups who attempted to use its site to book lodging for the rally last week. Intel’s CEO and other leaders resigned from President Donald Trump’s manufacturing council over what they saw as Trump’s inadequate condemnation of the violence and rhetoric from racist groups over the weekend. On Wednesday, Trump disbanded two major business councils following a cascade of member resignations.
Apple removed Apple Pay capabilities from little-known sites, including americanvikings.
com and vinlandclothing.com, the latter of which sells apparel with Nazi logos. Apple Pay’s “acceptable use guidelines” state that users may not incorporate its payment service into a site that “promotes hate, violence, or intolerance based on race, age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.”
Heidi Beirich, leader of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, praised Apple’s actions, and likened the move to one in 2014 when the company removed songs from iTunes that the SPLC had characterized as “hate music.”
“Tim Cook has been the leader in the fight against hate on tech platforms,” she said. “It would be a much better country if people had followed his lead on this front.