A few days before Halloween, online financial transaction giant PayPal closed a user’s account over a policy dispute and will keep all the man’s money for six months. The victim of financial deplatforming, a southern California artist known by his pseudonym Sabo, says the sudden and unexpected move threatens to force his family into homelessness.
On October 28, 2019, Sabo announced the bad news on Facebook:
“Today PayPal cancelled my account with all of my money in it. They are holding my funds for the next 6 months.”
Online retail e-commerce website Etsy banned Sabo before PayPal, further limiting the artist’s ability to market his conservative political products.
The artist, whose name comes from the firearm component sabot, has been actively promoting his anti-liberal point of view since 1999. Sabo is a former U.S. marine tank operator who works from his apartment in Los Angeles. He grew up in Texas studied art in LA after his national service.
Sabo told his online financial services provider how freezing his account and seizing his assets was harming him and his spouse:
“I explained to them that I live in a city with 60,000 homeless people and that they are about to make me and my wife join their ranks.”
According to Sabo’s Facebook post, PayPal apologized – but stood its ground, invoking terms from the company’s User Agreement to support the reason for this sudden and financially crippling action:
“At PayPal, we value a safe community for our customers to do business. We noticed activity in your account that’s inconsistent with our User Agreement and we no longer offer you PayPal services.”
PayPal’s account suspension limited every type of activity except for logging in to view account information with no ability to send or receive money. Adding insult to injury, the financial powerhouse wrote:
“Any money in your balance will be held for 180 days, after which we’ll send you an email with instructions about transferring your money.”
In a 2017 home interview, he said:
“I think leftism is a mental disorder. I truly believe I’m fighting the good fight.”
Two years ago, the rare and solitary right-wing resister to the left-wing resistance that gained fuel after the 2016 Trump election, called the GOP “the new punk” as a style trend and pointed out his unique niche:
“I’m pretty much the only right-winger doing guerrilla art. I’m like patient zero, the first one doing this on our side.”
Sabo became a “one-man rebuttal” to the slew of anti-Trump supporters who cater to a juvenile audience such as Madonna, Katy Perry, and Lady Gaga:
“I cater to the street urchins, the young people. I want them to understand that there’s another message out there.”
Sabo made national headlines during the Republican primaries with a fake promotional Cruz poster touting a mythical and sarcastic “Blacklisted & Loving It” tour. The image of a well-muscled, lavishly tattooed man’s torso had Cruz’s head superimposed, a cigarette dangling from his lips.
The guerilla artist said after PayPal seized his funds that his better half had predicted this would happen:
“My wife had warned me about doing business with PayPal. I’d constantly tell her that they provided a great service which makes starting an online store easy.”
Sabo noted that the leadership at PayPal has adopted increasingly oppressive measures against conservatives in the past few years:
“I trusted them. I worked in the start-ups for many years and it sucks to see what they’ve become. The people of PayPal obviously haven’t taken note of how many once-giants are less than memories now. Their time will come soon as well. When it comes to the transfer of money, trust is paramount. They’ve lost that trust with me.”
Sabo posted on Facebook that he and his wife will continue the good patriotic fight and find other means to make a living for the next six months. The activist pointed out that banishment from PayPal is a liberal tactic to sway the 2020 presidential election:
“2020 is right around the corner and they are doing everything they can to silence our side. At least they finally did it so now I can move on.”
As for financial deplatforming and social media muzzling of Rightist messages, Sabo observed:
“We are living in Orwellian times.”