Darkness At Noon: GOFUNDME DELETES TRUTH BARRIER ACCOUNT AFTER DONATIONS MADE

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:

 

Hi Celia,

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.

Thanks,
Susan

WePay | Customer Support
Phone: 855-GO-WEPAY (855-469-3729)
support@wepay.com | wepay.com

 

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.

 

Thank you.

 

(Original post, minus GoFundMe page, below.)

 

 

Associate Editor Jack Mackerel, after a long night on the Ruggiero story

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Celia Farber

Celia Farber is a journalist, author, and editor based in New York City, who grew up in Sweden and New York City. Farber has written on a variety of subjects for SPIN, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Harper’s, Salon, New York Press, and many more. In 2008, Celia Farber won the Semmelweis International Society’s Clean Hands Award For Investigative Journalism.

Comments

  1. Joe Beck says:

    What they did to you Celia is a crime.
    I found your site by searching “gofundme.com”. I see many funds on gofundme.com that had received donations above the “goal” dollar amount but were still accepting donations. That might be a crime, if it isn’t then it should be. State the goal, reach it, then stop all donations. Why? Because the donations are being made to help a person meet a dollar amount. I noticed other problems with their site and the way they do things.

    An example is this fund, – http://www.gofundme.com/Home4Barbara -, for Barbara Garcia, a victim of a tornado in Oklahoma. The fund is in the name Erin DeRuggiero who states “I am in contact with Barbara and her daughter Jackie”, which is obviously suspicious for very logical reasons. The “goal” was $60,000, it was reached on June 19, 2013 with a $100 donation by Mary Ulman. Erin DeRuggiero is still accepting donations. This is gofundme.com’s response:

    Carissa (GoFundMe Support)
    Jul 08 09:41 am (PDT)

    Hi Joe,

    Thanks for reaching out to us.

    I do see that this page was set up as a Personal page. Personal donation pages can be set up for as long as the page creator would like them to be. They do not have an expiration date, and people are free to donate more to the page creator if they would like. The page will remain live unless the page creator takes the page down.

    Hope this helps to clarify, let me know if you have any further questions.

    Thanks,

    Carissa

    Notice how gofundme.com deflects responsibility by claiming it is a “Personal” page. Yet they are collecting 5% of all donations on this “Personal” page. I have many other problems with gofundme.com’s way of doing business, and yes it is a BUSINESS for them, 5% of all donations is extremely high. It is just a website, built with free software, and no buildings to lease or own, and no employees to pay wages to. They also hide their website ownership, which is unethical and stupid if you are accepting donations.

    If you want any help with looking into this website Celia, I am available to help. I am always conducting research, it’s like a hobby. I am disabled currently and have plenty of time.

  2. Allison Quinn says:

    What I really dislike is that they say:
    “We will not be able to provide YOU or your business…..” So, not only do the disagree with TheTruthBarrier for some reason (I see nothing in the Prohibited Activities that would match up. what, promoting hatred and racial intolerance?); but they say YOU. How much more personal can it get?

  3. David Crowe says:

    Did they give any explanation? Is it because of your views on HIV/AIDS or something else? They owe you an explanation. None of this “violated terms of service” crap. If they’re going to censor they should at least be brave enough to explain why.

  4. Flahute says:

    Thx for getting us involved, engaged, & up to speed with things regarding this issue. A temporary setback at best.

    This is just the equivalent of ‘Moneyball’ where the game is, partly IMHO, societal and scientific integrity. It’s taken these forces which you & varied others have documented, quite awhile to assemble their ‘team’ & put their game pieces in place. Suspect that it may take a somewhat long while to deconstruct the apparatus or reach some series of critical tipping points. It is how we weather & respond to these temporary crises that allow us to achieve the next series of victories.

    I imagine there remain a number of equally engaged elements, operating on a worldwide basis for the long haul with far less resources, dedicated to the dismantling of this apparatus or at least what it represents. It shouldn’t be difficult to retool your current situation.

    Sometimes, we get to the truth in strange non linear ways…. you & your integrity have illustrated some very creative ways to do this.

  5. Sepp says:

    The GoFundMe terms of service

    http://www.gofundme.com/blog/user-forum/terms-conditions/

    (look at “Prohibited Activities”)

    make it rather easy for someone to complain about your page to them and convince them that you are advocating something that is contrary to all good medical practice and therefore fraudulent, or whatever. Just imagine one of the nasties in the Aids world doing such a complaint…

    Probably that is what happened. Getting interference from the pro-aids-drugs crowd.

    You might be able to tease the complaint out of the GoFundMe people, but it seems futile. There will be other means to gather support.

  6. Cheryl Nagel says:

    This is lunacy – why should they give a darn who uses their service, and BTW, what have you done now? Nothing different than usual, I’m sure. I liked Noreen’s response. Try something else!

  7. R. A. Davis says:

    Somebody’s playing with your head, Celia. Please don’t let it drag you down.

  8. Noreen Martin says:

    Don’t understand what their problem is but try fundy or other types of fund-raising organizations. This is so unfair for them to do this. Maybe an account could be opened by-passing all of these who all want a piece of the pie. Post it on your site, Facebook , etc. I wanted to send money but no longer use Pay Pal.

    • sheri thomas says:

      My GOFUNDME account is exposing COURT CORRUPTION and CPS kidnapping.

      I was just REJECTED as well with no explanation and all funds held then refunded.
      JusticeOpensDoors http://www.gofundme.com/justiceopensdoors

      This is CLEARLY A TRUTH BARRIER organization and front for BANKSTERS

      Celia, I would like to form a alliance …Please call me…phone number at website

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