Crowdfunding platforms are shutting down pages trying to raise money for the legal defense of James Fields, a 20-year-old charged with second degree murder.
Fields is accused of driving a car into a crowd of opposition protesters Saturday during a rally in Charlottesville, Va., which turned violent. One person, Heather Heyer, died from the crash, and 19 others were injured.
Supporters of Fields, and his actions, are no longer able to donate to certain pages advocating for the alleged murderer because of GoFundMe, one of the two most popular crowdfunding companies. The site purged several pages with the goal of raising money for Fields, citing its terms and conditions, which forbid any campaigns that advocate for hate speech and violence.
“We have removed multiple campaigns for James Fields and we will continue to do so if other campaigns are created. Those campaigns did not raise any money and they were immediately removed,” Bobby Whithorne, director of strategic communications at GoFundMe, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “We don’t tolerate the promotion of hate or intolerance of any kind, and if a campaign violates GoFundMe’s terms of service, we’ll remove it from the platform. We’ll continue to enforce our terms of service for all campaigns across the site.”Kickstarter says it also has similar policies related to hate speech and any projects promoting it, but has not yet detected any such pages, including ones related to Fields. A representative for the company told The Daily Caller News Foundation essentially that it’s not surprised it hasn’t found any because it focuses on making films, albums, books, gadgets, games and the like, and doesn’t allow fundraising for charities, including any legal defense funding.
GoFundMe’s removal, and in a way Kickstarter’s refusal, aren’t the first instances of tech-related companies boycotting white supremacy. Both Google and GoDaddy, the popular web address registrar company, removed or threatened to remove The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website. The tipping point for these corporations seemed to be when the anti-Semitic blog wrote an extremely maligned article mocking Heyer’s death.
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