Elon Musk subtly criticized the crowdfunding site GoFundMe after the company canceled the Freedom Convoy trucker fundraiser Friday. The fundraiser was supporting the truckers in Canada who are protesting vaccine mandates by the government. Different protestors often use the site as a pseudo-lifeblood for various powder keg social causes, granting site administrators a de-facto authority to pick and choose which causes are socially acceptable. Most often, when a cause doesn’t fit the bill of “social acceptability,” GoFundMe will call on their terms of service to quietly pull the plug on the fundraising altogether.
Such was the case in Ottawa as donators had sent millions in support of the trucker protest. But the protest directly defies government-mandated vaccine requirements — perhaps the most hot-button topic in the world, today. So to wash their hands of any impending controversy, GoFundMe simply cut the cord; citing a violation of their terms of service (specifically the rules against violence).
GoFundMe released a statement Friday evening saying: “We support peaceful protests and we believe that was the intention of the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser when it was first created.
“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.”
But GoFundMe has a history of openly supporting very intense operations, like the Seattle protests of 2020 in which locals declared a treasonous autonomous zone. The zone, spanning six city blocks and displaying Black Lives Matter imagery, housed George Floyd protesters amidst violent interactions between demonstrators and police.
Musk pointed out the discrepancy in logic, tweeting out “Double standard?” along with a screenshot of the allowed donations page that funded the protestors at the time.
Organizers moved the trucker fundraiser to a new funding site
The decision to stop funding for truckers and redistribute the funds to other charities came after Canada’s House of Commons Public Safety and National Security Committee publicly leaned on GoFundMe. The agency asked the website to detail how it would ensure donations weren’t being used to promote extremism and hate. But the connections between peacefully protesting a vaccine mandate and promoting “extremism and hate” remain unclear.
Freedom Convoy organizer Tamara Lich announced Friday night that her team now works with GiveSendGo. The new crowdfunding platform will continue raising funds for the truckers.
“GiveSendGo is going to enable us to get donations into the hands of truckers much, much quicker,” she said.
“If you can donate and help us keep these truckers going — we plan to be here for the long haul. As long as it takes to ensure that your rights and freedoms are restored.”
As for the funds already raised, GoFundMe said the site will stop distributing money from the trucker fundraiser immediately.
“We will not distribute funds to the Freedom Convoy organizers. We will work with organizers to send all remaining funds to credible and established charities. The charities are chosen by the Freedom Convoy 2022 organizers and verified by GoFundMe.”