As I posted here, (old post at bottom) last week, I created a donation page for The Truth Barrier at GoFundMe, one of the major crowd funding sites. In the first day I raised $450. I was quite surprised to find, last night, that I was getting emails from GoFundMe telling me donors funds had been returned to them. Why? I hadn’t asked them to do this. I had also gotten no warning of any kind. First I thought, when it was just one refund, in the beginning, that this donor was upset with me and wrote to him to ask why. Then all the donors were refunded and my “amount raised” went to $0.00. I thought maybe there was a snag with my bank account. I called the help number, and sent emails to tech support. “Why did you send all my donations back to donors with no explanation??”
I was stunned to get this chilling reply:
I apologize, but we are unable to process payments for your account. Our banks and processors hold us to a strict guideline on what we can and cannot process through our site. Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide you or your business with our services. I do apologize again, and wish you the best going forward.
It got worse. Today I found that GoFundMe had deleted my page altogether, again without alerting me.
If you believe in diversity of expression, citizen reporting, and the first amendment, I suggest you BOYCOTT GoFundMe. They are so censorious and cowardly they are making PayPal look like The Freedom Riders. (PayPal accepts donations here at the site, and has never given me a problem.)
When have we had enough of these underhanded Stasi tactics? They offered a service, I became a customer, I broke not one of their stated violations, and yet I was deleted without a word.
Who is behind GoFundMe? Which banks? What tactics do they use to screen people? On what do they base there “DELETE” decisions? What right do they have to send money BACK to donors once the donors have sent it to the recipient? This means I have to write to each donor and explain.
Let’s expose and name those complicit in the destruction of free speech on the Internet.
(Original post, minus GoFundMe page, below.)
I started a page today to support developing The Truth Barrier into a real investigative contender–combining old school shoe-leather traditions with web-based citizen journalism. This is the first building block. Another way you can help us is to take interest in our ads, even if they seem annoying at first. Thank you for supporting The Truth Barrier in every single way, mainly with your attentiveness. We hope to grow like a beanstalk in 2013!
Celia Farber, Editor