Following its recent actions with donations to the Canadian trucker convoy, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and other Republicans have threatened to probe the crowdfunding website GoFundMe’s protocols.
The company began withholding payments for the right-wing movement and collaborated with the Ontario Canada police department to limit additional opponents and withhold their accounts.
According to Fox News, the website accepted donations made to the Canadian “Freedom Convoy” in protest of COVID-19 rules on Friday and initially indicated that the funds would be dispersed to charities specified by the convoy organizers and the corporation.
On Friday, the crowdsourcing platform GoFundMe canceled the convoy’s official campaign, claiming that law police convinced the company that the caravan had grown violent and unlawful.
GoFundMe asked contributors to fill out a refund form and indicated that any funds not refunded to donors will be donated to a charity chosen by the Freedom Convoy.
Within hours, however, GoFundMe withdrew the refund requests, instead announcing that funds would be automatically repaid.
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It’s not the first time the company has paused a campaign in support of “conservative” causes, but it could be the last. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, was among the first to condemn the company’s choice, accusing it of operating under two sets of rules.
“Double standard?” he tweeted, bringing up an image of a GoFundMe donation for Seattle’s CHOP (Capitol Hill Occupied Protest), in which left-wing protestors occupied a section of the city to create a “autonomous zone” where crimes were committed and police were prevented from entering.
He also referred to the business as “professional thieves” in a tweet. On Saturday, GoFundMe said that it had changed its mind on what to do with the donations, but that it would not be transferring the funds to the intended beneficiaries.
“In order to make things easier for our users, all donations to the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser will be refunded.” This refund will be handled instantly; no action on your side is necessary. “Donors should get refunds within 7-10 business days,” the letter stated.
“The previous update allowed all contributors to receive refunds and established a strategy to distribute remaining monies to vetted charity chosen by the Freedom Convoy organizers,” the company stated. “However, in response to donor comments, we are streamlining the procedure and immediately refunding funds.” they finally added.