GoFundMe, Go To Hell
After they froze a successful GrayZone fundraiser over unnamed "external concerns," GoFundMe became the official poster child for the politicization of economic services
The online crowdfunding site GoFundMe just shut down a fundraising initiative for The Grayzone, a left-leaning, antiwar site led by Max Blumenthal and Aaron Maté. Citing what they euphemistically termed “external concerns,” the site froze $90,000 Grayzone raised from 1100 contributors to pay for the reporting of Kit Klarenberg, Wyatt Reed, and Alex Rubenstein.
The fundraiser has since moved to a new destination, SpotFund, and already surpassed the amount frozen by GoFundMe. The damage however has been done. GoFundMe is now officially the poster child for politicization of economic services. They prevented a parents group from renting a billboard to publicize Abigail Shrier’s book Irreversible Damage, froze nearly $8 million in donations to the “Freedom Convoy” Canadian Trucker movement, even wiped out two fundraisers for MintPress. This Grayzone incident is perhaps most loathsome, lacking even a patina of necessity or justification, while serving as a depressingly obvious preview of things to come.
I spoke to Max yesterday and he’s appropriately furious, as his site’s gof**kyourself logo shows. Even those who don’t share Grayzone’s politics should be outraged and alarmed. The “anti-disinformation” complex we spent so much time on after the Twitter Files is close to perfecting the application of financial pressure, finishing a job begun thirteen years ago, when PayPal froze donations to Wikileaks after the leak site received a letter from the U.S. State Department. This system is nimble enough now to financially disable actors as different from one another as an American porn star and the London-based Free Speech Union.
There’s an article I’ve written but not published, about an American who suffered severe financial penalties due to his politics. The “anti-disinformation” crowd thought it appropriate to cut access to payment services while he was trying to raise money for a criminal defense. Because what’s more American than deploying unaccountable bureaucrats to prevent someone from having their day in court? What good is life in democracy, if we’re not free to deny people services based on how they live or what they think?
I’ve been remiss in not publishing that piece, but it’ll be coming out now. In the meantime, to colleagues quiet over the Grayzone affair: what are you thinking? This won’t happen to you? Litmus tests are good? Being craven and spineless is a legitimate lifestyle choice? You’re all amazing, and not in a good way. What quantity of nonsense won’t you swallow?