Earlier this week, PayPal came under fire for blocking the sale of a photojournalism book entitled Iranian Living Room, which depicts every-day people from Tehran, in their homes doing every-day things. The reason: the book has “Iranian” in the title, which triggered PayPal’s “blacklist” against items that may be in violation of United States sanctions against the contentious Middle Eastern country. After Dan Hill, one of the book’s creators, complained to PayPal, the online payment giant realized that, whoops, books aren’t part of any sanction. The company has since apologized, and let Iranian Living Room through. But there are a surprising number of things that PayPal won’t allow you to buy. Check out the list below.
1. Internet porn
All “sexually oriented” digital goods are prohibited, but you can buy adult DVDs, magazines, or other, uh, me-time physical goods.
2. Money orders
Traveler’s checks are banned, too. Do traveler’s checks still exist?
Only federally approved merchants can accept PayPal as payment for any precious metals, jewels, or stones due to money laundering laws.
4. Prescription drugs
Sorry, but you’re going to have to get your Viagra some other way.
5. Drug drugs
The “But it’s for tobacco!” excuse isn’t going to get you anywhere with the PayPal police.
This includes collectable firearms, ammunition, and certain gun parts.
This is because e-cigarettes are considered tobacco products under federal guidelines, so don’t try buying any cigars, cigarettes, or pipe tobacco either.
9. Nazi collectables
PayPal bans the purchase of anything that promotes or glorifies “hate, violence, or intolerance.” And we’re ok with that.
10. Buildings or land
Unless you’re this guy, PayPal’s ban on land, buildings, or anything of the sort probably isn’t such a big deal.
PayPal doesn’t allow anything to do with currency exchanges, which means Bitcoin is off-limits.
12. Wikileaks support
Actually, the only mainstream way to donate to Wikileaks is MasterCard.
13. Lottery tickets
Basically, anything to do with gambling is banned by PayPal. You’ll just have to fuel your gambling addiction with cash, check, credit card, or loan shark.
Good. Timeshares are a stupid investment anyway.
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