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Blockchain-Based Streaming Site BitChute ‘Censored’ by PayPal

1 min
Updated by Adam James

In Brief

  • When free speech meets censorship, the wallets are the first to suffer.
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BitChute, a video hosting platform that uses peer-to-peer WebTorrent technology to stream media, has accused PayPal of censorship after finding that the company’s account was suspended.
In its most recent community update, BitChute mentions that the account was used to “settle payments and to receive subscription payments from supporters along with other discretionary payments.” The closure is said to be with immediate effect, preventing the platform from sending or receiving payments using the provider. Founded by Ray Vahey, BitChute was launched in 2017 and is widely billed as a blockchain-based competitor to YouTube. However, the platform failed to gain much momentum as it’s dated appearance and poor adoption facilitated a struggle. Instead of becoming a competitor to YouTube, BitChute became more of a fallback for some of its disgruntled users and so-called ‘Youtube refugees’. To date, few videos on the platform see more than a thousand views, while even trending videos struggle to scrape 10,000 views. According to the report, it appears that PayPal’s decision is final, though BitChute is in the process of appealing. The update concludes by stating that BitChute is “working to get a replacement credit card payments processor and will keep all our supporters updated on our progress.” This is not the first time PayPal has blacklisted alternative media platforms. It recently banned both Infowars — a controversial news and opinion site — and social media network Gab. Do you think PayPal has a right to forcefully censor platforms by messing with their finances? Is it well within their rights based on their terms of service? Let us know what you think in the comments below! 


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