Anger at PayPal Founder Over Support of Trump May be Misplaced

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PayPal Founder Peter Thiel

In the wake of Peter Thiel’s support for Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention on Thursday, people on social media are promising to cancel their PayPal accounts.

“Every American has a unique identity. I am proud to be gay. I am proud to be a Republican. But most of all, I am proud to be an American,” said Thiel in his speech to the convention. “I urge all of my fellow Americans to stand up and vote for Donald Trump.” He added that he doesn’t agree with every Republican platform but called for an end to “fake culture wars,” such as the controversy over transgender bathroom use.

The response by many on social media didn’t take long.

“Time to cancel my #PayPal account. #RNCinCLE,” wrote @cdeanbrown on Twitter.

“@peterthiel You are quite blind. GOP was never kind to the LGBT community. Sad. Not going to use #PayPal #peterthiel,” wrote @sfcalling85.

But the anger at PayPal may be misdirected.

Thiel, who co-founded PayPal with Tesla founder Elon Musk, sold the company to eBay in 2002. “Peter Thiel was one of PayPal’s founders, but he is no longer associated with the company in any way,” wrote a PayPal representative in an email to SFGN.

In April, PayPal announced it had cancelled its expansion plans in Charlotte, North Carolina over that state’s controversial transgender bathroom law. Dan Schulman, PayPal’s president and CEO, said a global operations center, and the 400 jobs that go with it, would be located elsewhere.

“The new law perpetuates discrimination and it violates the values and principles that are at the core of PayPal’s mission and culture. As a result, PayPal will not move forward with our planned expansion into Charlotte. This decision reflects PayPal’s deepest values and our strong belief that every person has the right to be treated equally, and with dignity and respect. These principles of fairness, inclusion and equality are at the heart of everything we seek to achieve and stand for as a company. And they compel us to take action to oppose discrimination,” wrote Schulman in a statement.

On Facebook, David Jobin also stated he had cancelled PayPal.

Asked if he knew that Thiel was no longer part of the company, Jobin responded, “I was aware of it. But I still think that it makes a statement given his high profile, roots and identification with the company. I am furious that the GOP tried to assuage LGBT folks on the last night of the convention with Thiel's speech and Donald's LG…BTQ reference about keeping us safe from foreign terrorists. It's the domestic terrorists that we fear most who are trying to strip us of our human rights.”

 


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