Paypal Blocked Payments To 'Superheroes For Syria' Relief Fundraising Effort

mooneyvariant-350x494Darrin O'Toole created a package of his independent superhero comic books sold as a fundraising effort to benefit Red Cross' Syrian aid efforts, wit 100% of payments going to that charity. He got a little press for it.

But there was a problem. As he posted,

Lots of folk having trouble with comicsy and paypal. You can send money directly to and you'll get all the books etc. Thanks for your support!

And then

Comicsy has informed me that the reason all sales were bouncing was because our fundraiser has the word "Syria" in it. Take a bow, Paypal.

Nevertheless, they were at least able to send the raised money to the relief effort, 267 Euros.

11986330_1629213600699919_145678512304287854_nBut then Darren's own Paypal account fell foul of the problem. He posted,

PayPal have suspended my account due to my "involvement with Syria".

I ran a fundraiser for the refugees ffs.

Later sharing with us a letter he'd written to the digital payment company, saying,

Dear Paypal,

In response to you suspending my account and enquiring about "Superheroes for Syria", it was a week long campaign where I sold comic books, written and published by myself. The books were sold at cost price, with all revenue made over the campaign donated to the Irish Red Cross, to help Syrian refugees who have been drowning and starving in horrific circumstances. It's been in the news. A quick use of a website called "google" should be able to verify this. You may also use this "google" site to verify what the Red Cross are and how they use money that people donate to help people who are in desperate need of food, clothing and water.

If you check my transaction history over the period, you'll see that the funds that came in from people weren't that high. That's pretty much due to you blocking people's attempts to support the initiative, because the word "Syria" was mentioned. So lots of people didn't get to donate their money to a good cause. So thank you for that also. You've not just frozen my account for trying to help The Red Cross get some much needed money, but by blocking transactions you took money from those in desperate need of it.

"Syria" is not a hate word. You should not be freezing people's accounts because they used it in a fundraiser called "Superheroes for Syria". This campaign was the sum of my as you say "involvement with Syria". I'm ashamed to say I likely couldn't even point Syria out on a map, or name a single person from there.

I look forward to a full apology from your company. Actually, just re-instate my account. You can send your apology to those dying of starvation and to the Irish Red Cross. I'll be forwarding this letter and any correspondence to the media so they can be aware of paypal's stance regarding people who try to, you know, make the world a little tiny bit better.

You have yourself a great day.

Darrin O'Toole.

Paypal did not respond to enquiries.



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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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