Republicans Vow to Investigate GoFundMe for Attacking Freedom Convoy's Fundraiser
Platform took down Canadian truckers' campaign after raising millions of dollars
Several prominent Republicans have vowed to investigate the fundraising platform GoFundMe after it took down a campaign for the Canadian Truckers' Freedom Convoy.
Republican officials across the country are committed to investigating actions taken by GoFundMe.
The platform caused outrage by dissolving the fundraiser for the Freedom Convoy and refusing to distribute funds raised on their behalf.
The massively popular fundraiser generated several million dollars from people around the world for the protesters before GoFundMe shut it down and refused to pay out the donations.
"The fundraising effort had raised C$10 million — around $7.9 million — and C$1 million had already been distributed to the organizers of the so-called Freedom Convoy before GoFundMe took the decision to stop the fundraiser," Newsweek reported.
"GoFundMe initially announced on Friday it would refund contributions to anyone who applied and the remaining funds would be distributed to charities chosen by the Freedom Convoy organizers and verified by the crowdfunding site.”
However, after intense backlash, GoFundMe changed course and opted to refund all donations made to the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser.
To simplify the process for our users, we will be refunding all donations to the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser. This refund will happen automatically—you do not need to submit a request. Donors can expect to see refunds within 7-10 business days.— GoFundMe (@gofundme) February 5, 2022
GoFundMe shut down the convoy’s fundraiser, saying that it no longer could be considered a peaceful protest.
“We now have evidence from law enforcement that the previously peaceful demonstration has become an occupation, with police reports of violence and other unlawful activity,” GoFundMe wrote.
“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 … and has been removed from the platform.”
The Ottawa Police advocated for all crowdfunding websites to prevent the Freedom Convoy from fundraising.
We want to thank @gofundme for listening to our concerns as a City and a police service. The decision to withhold funding for these unlawful demonstrations is an important step and we call on all crowdfunding sites to follow.— Ottawa Police (@OttawaPolice) February 5, 2022
Saturday morning, Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis announced that he will work alongside the state’s attorney general to investigate GoFundMe and its deceptive practices.
Gov. DeSantis labeled the company’s tactics as “fraud.”
It is a fraud for @gofundme to commandeer $9M in donations sent to support truckers and give it to causes of their own choosing.— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 5, 2022
I will work with @AGAshleyMoody to investigate these deceptive practices — these donors should be given a refund.
The attorneys general of several states including West Virginia, Louisiana, and Ohio matched Gov. DeSantis’ righteous indignation and made clear that they intend to hold GoFundMe accountable for any potentially illegal acts committed by terminating the Freedom Convoy’s fundraiser.
Patrick Morrisey, the attorney general of West Virginia, told his constituents that if they were victimized to let his office know.
#GoFundMe now won’t honor #FreedomConvoy donations and will instead redirect to other charities?— Patrick Morrisey (@MorriseyWV) February 5, 2022
In WV, organizations must not deceive donors and engage in deceptive advertising practices.
If you’ve been victimized by a deceptive act or practice, let us know!
Louisiana’s Attorney General Eric Schmitt said that GoFundMe’s actions were “totally unacceptable” and that he would be “investigating” the company's “deceptive practices.”
🚨It’s totally unacceptable for @gofundme to siphon over $9M in donations sent to support #TruckersForFreedom2020 & funnel it to causes it supports.— Eric Schmitt (@Eric_Schmitt) February 5, 2022
I will be investigating these deceptive practices. Donors should be given a refund.#TruckersConvoy2022 #TruckersForFreedom
And Dave Yost, the attorney general of Ohio, said that while refunding every donation was the “right thing to do,” he still wanted to hear from Ohioans who gave to the Freedom Convoy.
In the last few minutes, #GoFundMe tweeted that they will refund all donations to #FreedomConvoy automatically.— Attorney General Dave Yost (@DaveYostOH) February 5, 2022
That’s the right thing to do, but it is not the end of the story. I still want to hear from you if you donated.
This needs to not happen again!
It’s worth noting that in the summer of 2020, GoFundMe amplified fundraising attempts for people involved in the CHAZ/CHOP movement in downtown Seattle, Washington.
GoFundMe found the Freedom Convoy to be a violent movement worthy of suppression.
However, it also deemed a violent secessionist movement that was a hotbed for rape and murder a worthy cause.
In a community with no police, this farmer is feeding people & bringing them closer together.— GoFundMe (@gofundme) July 2, 2020
Learn how you can support Marcus' mission within the CHOP: https://t.co/Ezo2kqi7ht https://t.co/cDt9oKHI5q
GoFundMe’s message is clear.
The company, like countless other Western corporations, will advance the causes of violent leftists while actively working to suppress peaceful, patriotic movements.