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GoFundMe Won’t Seize $9M Donations To Canadian Truckers After Elon Musk Calls GFM “Thieves”

GoFundMe Won’t Seize $9M Donations To Canadian Truckers After Elon Musk Calls GFM “Thieves”

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.

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.

From GoFundMe:

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.

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.

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.

The people at Rumble, a free speech-friendly alternative to YouTube, offered to help GiveSendGo.

 

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Comments

GFM is toast. They just lost 50-60% of their business
I know a spice house in Wisconsin you may be interested in…

I read elsewhere another factor in gofundme’s decision. Apparently donors were going to their credit card companies and reporting it as a fraudulent transaction. And that would involve not only giving a complete refund of the original donation but also recovery fees from the credit card companies. And the internal costs to address respond to all the chargeback transactions from myriad credit card companies and Bank accounts. They may have been looking at spending $2 to refund one.

    But that’s any donation for any cause. Go Fund Me’s business model has to absorb that risk, just like any other merchant taking credit cards.

      Morning Sunshine in reply to TheFineReport.com. | February 5, 2022 at 8:37 pm

      yes, GFM has to take that risk. But if 1 milllion donors take that route, that is a LOT of pain for GFM.

      Maybe – but if the problem was sufficiently widespread and continued to happen, credit card companies are going to refuse to deal with them, which would be a HUGE blow to them as a business.

        No, the credit card companies are going to invoke the Know Your Customer Act and refuse to listen to complaints from “terrorism enablers”.

    Morning Sunshine in reply to MrE. | February 5, 2022 at 8:36 pm

    I heard this too. That instead of filling out the refund form by Feb 19, they were instead encouraging each other to file a fraudulent transaction JUST TO GIVE PAIN TO GFM.

GFM isn’t going away, and in 2 or3 years the riots will start popping up again and GFM will be there to help them out.

smalltownoklahoman | February 5, 2022 at 8:54 pm

Good lord did they even bother talking to their lawyers before trying to pull this idiocy? Well GoFundMe’s loss is going to be a big win for other similar services. With several state attorney’s looking into this I wonder how long it will be until we hear of other shady things GFM may have tried to pull?

    It’s probably all covered by their TOS that nobody reads. And now that they’re refunding the money they’re probably off the hook with all those AGs, who would like to stick them with something but will probably not find any other grounds. And they’ll continue pulling this crap, but a bit more cautiously.

    Anyone who is aware of this needs to decide, once and for all, that no matter how worthy the cause or how appealing the premium, if it’s on gofundme it’s off the list. Boycott them like they boycott us.

      henrybowman in reply to Milhouse. | February 6, 2022 at 12:04 am

      I’ve been doing that since Kyle. And I write to any good “resistance” cause I find that funds using GoFundMe, to tell them I’d donate to them if they were on GiveSendGo instead, and why. I’m used to being ignored. But I did send an “I told you so” email to the Maverick Party tonight, along with the donation I pledged earlier if they would move to GiveSendGo.

      cashin in reply to Milhouse. | February 6, 2022 at 1:31 am

      Agree 100%. They will get off the hook this time.

      But I will never donate to a GFM campaign again. No matter how badly I may want to.

Hopefully the various states will look into other GFM activities. I suspect that other funding activities not sufficient Lt leftist have had monies confiscated but lacked the public awareness of the Canadian trucker campaign.

If so I hope that the officers and directors face both civil and criminal actions from multiple states.

I think the potential is here for the destruction of Go Fund Me.

At least 5 Attorney Generals have announced plans to investigate. Possibility of some form of criminality being found is very high, civil liability virtually certain.

Anticipate multiple cases filed by plaintiff’s firms seeking immediate injunctive relief and class certification. (What happens in discovery alone could be fatal.)

The process costs will be staggering. The damage to their business model will be ongoing.

I think they’re finished.

GiveSendGo also endured DDOS attacks when they took up the Kyle Rittenhouse defense fund after GoFundMe and Fundly dropped him. It’s crybullies bullying the right again for not getting their way.

Gee, the federal government was so adamant that they absolutely had to enact cyberbullying, cyberstalking, and illegal access to digital systems laws over a decade ago… when are they going to start enforcing them and tossing these hackers in jail?

I have a better, more descriptive abbreviation than “GFM”

I’ve been watching Viva Frei’s live-on-the-scene hours long daily coverage of this. Reminds me a lot of Tiananmen Square. But 70 degrees colder.

Good thing Fidel’s bastard son doesn’t have any blood thirsty Canadian Mongolian divisions he can send in to massacre the freedom lovers.

Though if he did I have little doubt the current occupant of the WH would rush to let him know the US won’t do anything or say anything negative about the slaughter.

Just like Pappa Bush did with the Chinese Commies. In retrospect this was one of the worst foreign policy moves in the last 40 years. Daddy Bush was complicit in, literally, murdering the democracy movement in China in the cradle. And in sucking up to Commies to make financial deals. We now know how well that worked out for the nation formerly known as The Land of the Free.

    Martin in reply to JHogan. | February 5, 2022 at 10:41 pm

    It was a massive error to ever open up China to our markets. As I understand it we were trying to separate them from the USSR think that would weaken the Soviets. I think we were wrong and that the USSR would have collapsed sooner if they had tried to support China.

    henrybowman in reply to JHogan. | February 5, 2022 at 10:49 pm

    Daddy Bush was nothing but the CIA extension annex. Never forget that.

      Milhouse in reply to henrybowman. | February 5, 2022 at 11:30 pm

      Evidence? What makes you think he ever had anything to do with the CIA besides being its director for 2 years?

      If he were really a CIA man, why did it work so hard to destroy his son?

        henrybowman in reply to Milhouse. | February 6, 2022 at 12:10 am

        “Evidence? What makes you think he ever had anything to do with the CIA besides being its director for 2 years?”

        This entirely hilarious sentence stands all on its own. Nothing I could say would top it.

        Why did the CIA prefer Manbearpig Gore and Omigod Kerry over W, who never worked for the CIA and probably couldn’t pass the entrance exam? Gee, that’s a tough one.

          Milhouse in reply to henrybowman. | February 6, 2022 at 12:37 am

          Please explain. What does make you think he ever had anything to do with the CIA besides being its director for 2 years? Surely you’re not arguing that his directorship makes him one of them, or would cause them to feel any loyalty to him. CIA directors are not insiders, they’re political appointees imposed on the agency, like department secretaries. They’re to be bamboozled and ignored and kept from interfering.

        4rdm2 in reply to Milhouse. | February 6, 2022 at 6:00 am

        That is a pretty laughable statement Milhouse, and if you want to be taken seriously on this you might want to find a different way to express that thought.

          Milhouse in reply to 4rdm2. | February 6, 2022 at 9:51 am

          Huh? I’m serious. Why do you suppose he had anything to do with the CIA? What’s laughable is to think that being appointed director would somehow endear him to them.

        scooterjay in reply to Milhouse. | February 6, 2022 at 11:26 am

        CIA director can clean house and install who they want and to positions chosen by them. You build a group of sycophantic tribesmen.

          Milhouse in reply to scooterjay. | February 7, 2022 at 6:56 pm

          CIA directors don’t last very long, and they have no more power to transform the agency than does any other department secretary or agency head. They are seen by the agency as annoyances to be managed until they are gone.

          And Bush lasted even less than most do — he was in there for less than a year. Saying that that made him a CIA man, with the CIA willing to do his bidding, is like saying that Betsy de Vos is a Department of Education woman, with the department forever after feeling loyal to her. Which is ridiculous.

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to JHogan. | February 5, 2022 at 11:35 pm

    You have more confidence in the RCMP and Canadian Forces than I do. The rights and freedoms granted to Canadians under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms of 1982 [their closest equivalent to the Bill of Rights] is literally a revocable gift by to rulers to the ruled. It also came out today that our FBI and DHS is helping them track and investigate everyone involved with the Freedom Convoys.

    Remember, we used to have confidence that the Aussie police and military would not tolerate a tyrannical government. Now the Aussie police and military are running concentration camps and beating demonstrators in their capitol.

    Subotai Bahadur

Over the past 10 minutes alone they’ve raised $20,000. Despite the crybullies slamming the gates like smash-and-grabbers. Incredible.

A number of things struck me about this:

1) The fact that they waited so long to do this, namely when it became clear that they had widespread support and weren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Seems like they thought this was like one of their idiotic astroturfed Antifa burn-n-runs where it would be gone in a day. When it became clear that this was actually a wide movement that wasn’t going anywhere, they pulled the plug

2) That they OPENLY did this at the behest of the Canadian government. That’s going to land them in real legal hot water – the government had no actual power to compel them to do it, so they can’t shift blame to the government

3) The IMMEDIATE backtrack, clearly as soon as an actual GoFundMe lawyer was brought in to advise them. This decision was clearly made by somebody with way too much authority and way too little sense to think that they could get away with it in something this public

4) The casual and confident way they did this – there is NO POSSIBLE WAY that this is the first time they did this. GUARANTEE that there are going to be some major lawsuits coming now that it’s exposed

5) The fact that there’s no actual name of any employee at the company attached to this. This wasn’t ‘XXX Vice President or CEO or whatever at GoFundMe’, this was ‘GoFundMe’, which means that this employee had the authority to speak on behalf of the company. This opens them up to HUGE liability as a company, there’s no way they can get away with throwing some lower employee under the bus to avoid legal consequences

    henrybowman in reply to Olinser. | February 6, 2022 at 12:16 am

    “the government had no actual power to compel them to do it, so they can’t shift blame to the government”

    Exactly. Any org not not already poisoned with bias or in bed with the government would have said, “show me the warrant / subpoena / court order… or get the hell off my lawn.”

    “The casual and confident way they did this – there is NO POSSIBLE WAY that this is the first time they did this.”

    I completely share your roll of tinfoil.

    CommoChief in reply to Olinser. | February 6, 2022 at 11:13 am

    Agreed.
    GFM as an organization attempted to unilaterally redirect funds donated for one recipient to others without input of the donor. GFM operates as a collector and distributor; a pass through conduit, for crowd funding. They hold themselves out as a conduit to match donors and recipients. They have previously done so for protest groups who operated without permits so the figleaf that the trucker actions are unlawful doesn’t wash.

    An announcement from GFM stating that they are ignoring the wishes of the donors and not refunding directly but instead sending the funds to other organizations is almost certainly illegal. GFM and their defenders can try their luck convincing a jury that their terms of service allow criminal behavior and importantly in this episode a criminal conspiracy to take place.

    IMO, the various State AG should not let GFM off the hook. Send notice to preserve docs and communications and continue investigation.

GoFundMe went off my list of potential donations when they cut off Kyle Rittenhouse in his bid to fight back against corrupt politically motivated persecution. I know it’s too much to hope for, but it would be great to see them bite the dust on this latest fiasco.

Rupert Smedley Hepplewhite | February 6, 2022 at 6:41 am

Interesting to note the states “looking into” GFM’s sketchy business are from the south; nothing from the north?

So now GoFundMe is GoFu**Me

LongTimeReader | February 6, 2022 at 8:00 am

I haven’t donated to any GFM account since Darren Wilson’s fundraiser. If there is an alternate means to donate for a cause I care about, I will send a check or electronic payment, They will never get a single penny of my money. Ever.

    SeiteiSouther in reply to LongTimeReader. | February 7, 2022 at 11:05 am

    Last time I used GFM was to pay for the medical bills of a recovering Michael Hogan. And that’s that is the end of me using the platform.

GiveSendGo should take Rumble’s offer of help. They should also be considering moving to their new platform. This may be what Rumble needs to get wake people up about how dangerous online commerce is. Do something NOW! MOVE!

I’m not a huge fan of Elon Musk, but good for him for calling out GFM.

I do hope everyone doesn’t get so obsessed with GFM that they miss the historical moment that is occurring in Canada. I’ve been watching the reporting coming out of Canada and it is inspiring. Makes me wish I was there feeling what it is like to be part of something where the entire country is dropping everything else and supporting this freedom movement. They are in the majority and they know it, the government knows it and it is spreading across to America and Europe.

What a contrast to these echo chambers where we just never seem to rally around what we claim to be our core beliefs. We are never ever united on anything. In Canada, they have reduced it to the bare essentials. Look at all the signs citing “God-given rights”, referring to themselves as “Canadians” rather than Ottawans or Quebecois or liberals or conservatives. And it is heart-felt. It must be glorious to be that way.

And then the tanks roll in? That is why we need to get ready right here in America where I fear we are more likely to see the tanks than in Canada. Our establishment Nazis have already expanded their Jan 6 FBI efforts to address the organizers of “The Great American Honkening”. We just are not ready for this and certainly not tough enough mentally to deal with it.

    Watch this TimCast clip and try to convince yourself that we here at LI “get it”.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WloHFixpsw

    The other day the very liberal Toronto Star newspaper said that bringing in the military to stop the protests was “an option”. Soon after, both the office of the Canadian Defense Minister and the mayor of Ottawa said that no, the military is not a law enforcement organization, so forget that.

    If you read or listen to the Canadian MSM, they’re telling you how this protest movement is terrible, awful, no-good, and very bad, even though the only people who have so far been arrested have attacked the protestors. But last year there were protests all over the country over both George Floyd and indigenous schools and the protestors got away with all sorts of criminal activity while the police stood by and watched. As well, multiple churches, mainly Catholic, were burned down by arsonists.

Here are the Wokesters behind GoFundMe:
https://www.gofundme.com/c/executive-team

smalltownoklahoman | February 6, 2022 at 11:47 am

Ya know I got to thinking about the truckers up there in Canada this morning and about how long they could keep this up. Then I remembered something I read from a couple months back.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/11/08/walmart-is-using-fully-driverless-trucks-to-ramp-up-its-online-grocery-business.html

I think when the protests up there die down there is going to be a surge of interest in that by both big business and some governments.

GFM is about to be exposed as the vulture preying on the carcass of sensibility that lay on the dirt road right off the frontage road alongside the interstate of progress, done in by some guy in a car that just kept going.
How can you defraud people so brazenly? Do they also sell timeshares?

These investigations will go nowhere. While GFM threatened patently illegal actions, they didn’t actually go through with them.

    I agree, but I would still like the investigations to continue. I find it impossible to believe this is the first and only time GFM has redistributed donated funds to causes of its own choosing.

    Danny in reply to randian. | February 7, 2022 at 9:31 am

    Deceptive trade practices may sound like it is only an obscure regulation, but regulations (unless found illegal) carry force of law and our AGs have every right to enforce them, this was only the latest in GoFundMe violating deceptive trade practice regulations.

GoFundMe’s HQ at 855 Jefferson Ave, Redwood City, CA 94063 is a post office. They have a P.O. Box. They have no physical HQ.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bJ1HYqrIVE
https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ffsb&q=855+Jefferson+Ave%2C+94063&atb=v1-1&ia=maps

It wasn’t just Elon Musk, a lot of Republican AGs announced investigations into GoFundMe in reaction to their behavior (deceptive trade practices among many other things).

The chance that GoFundMe violated its own user agreement is low (multi-billion dollar companies have a lot of great lawyers and face it nobody reads the user agreements).

Our attorney generals got results by intervening against an American Private Company in favor of a foreign political movement.

I love it, laissez faire is not my religion so hurrah for the results brought by big government. Let us do some more with it.

GoFundMe should only be the beginning of a Republican Party that finally starts using the power the voters give them.

If and now it’s a big IF you use gfm for a worthy cause, be sure to change the DEFAULT skimming off the top to ZERO %! That way your FULL DONATION goes to the cause! I’ve done that before and was able to send MORE to the cause! This political test that they apply should be ILLEGAL! But we’ll see if they go the way of many other woke and biased businesses! I know I won’t be clicking on their site ever again!