Ron DeSantis: “It is a fraud for @gofundme to commandeer $9M in donations sent to support truckers and give it to causes of their own choosing.”
GoFundMe is experiencing a self-inflicted, though likely not mortal, PR wound.
After shutting down the Canadian Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser, GoFundMe announced that they were seizing the $9 million (minus the $1 million it distributed to the organizers) and would be donating it to “verified” charities.
These charities, as explained by the GoFundMe outfit, were those the leftist fundraising site agreed to, purportedly with the input of the Freedom Convoy trucker organizers.
Initially, they also claimed that the Freedom Convoy was an “occupation” and that was unacceptable to them. Needless to say that fake argument got shot down immediately with long lists of all the “occupations” by antifa and assorted leftist criminals it allowed/still allows to flourish on its site.
Even without the lame “occupation” language, this GoFundMe move was shadier than shady, and the pushback was immense.
GoFundMe just stole $9,000,000 from the truckers!
— Election Wizard 🚛 (@ElectionWiz) February 4, 2022
It’s not my money pic.twitter.com/IKRxhGo8wS
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 5, 2022
In the face of justified outrage, GoFundMe relented very quickly and said they would be refunding the money to the actual donors IF they submitted a request by February 19th, and any money donated to the Freedom Convoy that was not “claimed” by said date, would be distributed to leftist-approved (“verified”) charities.
To ensure GoFundMe remains a trusted platform, we work with local authorities to ensure we have a detailed, factual understanding of events taking place on the ground. Following a review of relevant facts and multiple discussions with local law enforcement and city officials, this fundraiser is now in violation of our Terms of Service (Term 8, which prohibits the promotion of violence and harassment) and has been removed from the platform.
Organizers provided a clear distribution plan for the initial $1M that was released earlier this week and confirmed funds would be used only for participants who traveled to Ottawa to participate in a peaceful protest. Given how this situation has evolved, no further funds will be directly distributed to the Freedom Convoy organizers — we will work with organizers to send all remaining funds to credible and established charities chosen by the Freedom Convoy 2022 organizers and verified by GoFundMe.
All donors may submit a request for a full refund until February 19th, 2022 using this dedicated refund form. (emphasis in original)
That went over about as well as you might expect, so now, finally, GoFundMe is going to do what it should have done in the first place: actually return the money to the donors within the next ten or so business days.
The update we issued earlier enabled all donors to get a refund and outlined a plan to distribute remaining funds to verified charities selected by the Freedom Convoy organizers. However, due to donor feedback, we are simplifying the process and automatically refunding donations.
— GoFundMe (@gofundme) February 5, 2022
I have absolutely no idea how they thought they would get away with this, but that they even considered snatching millions of dollars and distributing it as they saw fit —they had to agree with the organizers, no input from the donors, on where these hijacked funds would be funneled—is absolutely jaw-dropping.
And their troubles seem far from over, as this series of skeevy egregious moves has attracted the attention of several states’ Attorneys General and several governors, including Florida governor Ron DeSantis.
UPDATE: Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost urges Ohioans to contact his office if they believe they were victimized by GoFundMe. https://t.co/T6SLGExVoi
— Election Wizard 🚛 (@ElectionWiz) February 5, 2022
It is a fraud for @gofundme to commandeer $9M in donations sent to support truckers and give it to causes of their own choosing.
I will work with @AGAshleyMoody to investigate these deceptive practices — these donors should be given a refund.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 5, 2022
I share the concerns of @WestVirginiaAG. My office will be looking into whether or not #GoFundMe violated our state law. If you are a Louisiana donor to the #FreedomConvoy, please contact my #ConsumerProtection Section! #lagov https://t.co/lwCAvsbLrY
— AG Jeff Landry (@AGJeffLandry) February 5, 2022
Patriotic Texans donated to Canadian truckers’ worthy cause using GoFundMe. This BLM-backing company went woke, froze the funds, & failed to deliver Texans’ money. Today I assembled a team to investigate their potential fraud & deception. Texas donors will get Justice! #GoFundMe
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) February 5, 2022
Needless to say, anyone who supports any right-leaning cause, or any cause at all, might consider if this is the right tool for that. An alternative being proposed and linked by the likes of Sen. Rand Paul is the Christian charity/fundraising site GiveSendGo. The site has agreed to host the Freedom Convoy. Because of this or because it is known to be willing to work with right-leaning and conservative causes, GiveSendGo is reportedly under some kind of cyber attack.
We have been under heavy DDOS and bot attacks. In spite of all of this we still have managed to raise funds 5X faster than the gfm did. GFM raised 10mil in 3 weeks. GSG campaign has already raised over 1.1mil in just over 12 hours!
— GiveSendGo (@GiveSendGo) February 5, 2022
The people at Rumble, a free speech-friendly alternative to YouTube, offered to help GiveSendGo.
We are hearing, but have not validated, that @GiveSendGo is experiencing server issues and a possible denial of service attack.
If true, Rumble would be happy to help in anyway we can. We have equipment and engineers on standby, please feel free to reach out.
— Rumble (@rumblevideo) February 5, 2022
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.