Apple has disabled its payments system on websites that sell white supremacist and Nazi-themed merchandise, according to a report from BuzzFeed News. The move, which follows the violent white nationalist attacks in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend that left one counter-protestor dead, means three websites that peddle in “White Pride” t-shirts and accessories with Nazi logos can no longer process payments through Apple Pay.
The websites, including AmericanVikings.com and VinlandClothing.com (the third site, called Behold Barbarity, has already gone offline), were found to be in violation of Apple’s “acceptable use guidelines.” Those rules prohibit use of Apple Pay in a way that promotes “hate, violence, or intolerance based on race, age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.” The owner of AmericanVikings, a “pro-white” man named Brien James, told BuzzFeed he was unaware of the Apple Pay integration in the first place and didn’t seem too upset with the decision.
However, while Apple Pay is a relatively small player compared to larger web payment processors and credit card companies, the company’s move to distance itself from white nationalist merchandizing appears to be having a ripple effect. Discover told BuzzFeed News, “In light of recent events, we are terminating merchant agreements with hate groups, given the violence incited by their extremist views.”
PayPal and Stripe, the two leading web payment processors, are also in the process of disabling their services for the smattering of white nationalist sites now coming to light in the aftermath of Charlottesville. Stripe told BuzzFeed it was looking into the issue, while PayPal has already banned two of the three above mentioned sites.
PayPal, while still associated with a number of controversial political organizations, did ban the neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer back in 2014. The site, which promotes white supremacy and ridiculed the dead victim of the Charlottesville event, has recently found itself without a web hosting provider or a Facebook presence. A number of other tech companies have gone even further in dropping support of hate sites and white supremacist organizations, including web hosting providers GoDaddy and Squarespace and platform-owning firms like Facebook, Twitter, GoFundMe, Airbnb, MailChimp, Uber, and WordPress.