Paypal User Unable to Purchase from Isis-Related Address; Company Algorithm Accused of 'Avoiding ISIS'?


Paypal is said to blacklist users with address that contains the word "Isis" based on a blog written by an Oxford academic and technology expert.

Paypal users have to obey the company's policy and customer service regulations when sending or receiving funds. However, residents at Isis Close might have more difficulties in doing online transaction simply because the address contains Isis.

A recent Paypal news comes from a user at Isis Close who was unable to purchase sewing kit because Paypal refused to proceed transaction. Reached out for solution, the Oxford resident decided to contact the Paypal customer service only to find that the company does not allow money transfer to any address containing "Isis".

Oxford University professor in technology, Ray Corrigan, explains that Paypal avoids the word "Isis" after the rise of extremist Islamic State. This has affected many businesses with Isis-related names that they have to change their brands so they will not face any sensitive problem. The goods delivered to Paypal users at Isis Close might cause a problem because of the Paypal algorithm that avoids "Isis" word, RT reported.

In Corrigan's blog, he describes the tyranny in algorithm that the Isis-related words must be added to as something that should be avoided. He further mentions about the algorithm added by 'a low level techie' as if all about Isis is saying something like 'do not touch'. At the end of his blog, he asks readers to decide if the global institutions should rely on 'gigantic collection of data'.

Paypal spokesperson said that the company will do everything to eliminate references that may not have anything to do with Islamic State or other act of terrorism, including the common address in Oxford, Isis Close.

Many businesses have to change names due to the fear of being related to Isis. New York's Isis Nails and Isis Chocolates have all branding their businesses with new names, so not to be associated with terrorism. The Daily Mail also reported that Isis Academy, an Oxford school, was forced to change its name after the school's headmistress was asked if she was training a child to become a terrorist.

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