GoFundMe Decides to Return Freedom Convoy Donations

Earlier this week, I shared some updates on Canada’s Freedom Convoy, the movement of truckers and others who drove across the country in the dead of winter to protest for medical freedom in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa.

One of the most impressive things about the convoy was the groundswell of support the truckers received from people who couldn’t participate in the convoy itself. The group had a GoFundMe page that raised over $10 million Canadian, which is nearly $8 million U.S.

“Had” is the operative word there. You see, GoFundMe suspended the fundraiser, pending an “investigation” based on false reports that the convoy members had become violent. Essentially, the fundraising website was telling the truckers and their supporters to go fund themselves.

GoFundMe’s statement read:

GoFundMe Statement on the Freedom Convoy 2022 Fundraiser (2/4/2022)
  • GoFundMe supports peaceful protests and we believe that was the intention of the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser when it was first created.
  • We now have evidence from law enforcement that the previously peaceful demonstration has become an occupation, with police reports of violence and other unlawful activity.

It’s interesting that GoFundMe didn’t show any proof for the factors that led them to suspend the fundraiser, and what little money they did release to the Freedom Convoy, organizers of the protest had to promise that the convoy would use those funds only for those who are protesting peacefully. And by the way, GoFundMe performed no such similar actions against fundraisers for Black Lives Matter defendants.

On top of the embarrassing spectacle of suspending the fundraiser on spurious grounds, the Ottawa Police had the nerve to publicly thank GoFundMe:

GoFundMe was also going to make things difficult for donors to get their money back. Supporters of the Freedom Convoy would have to jump through the hoop of filling out a “dedicated refund form,” and those who didn’t would be unable to see a refund. In those cases, GoFundMe would then transfer the money to a “credible and established” charity of the Freedom Convoy’s choice that was also verified by the fundraising giant.

Naturally, this led to some backlash. Some donors noted that they didn’t want to give their hard-earned money to some charity; they specifically donated to the Freedom Convoy.

Leave it to the Babylon Bee to make fun of GoFundMe’s boneheaded decision, too:

This type of unwanted attention moved GoFundMe to change course. They decided to do the smart, thoughtful, and probably easy thing and refund all the donations to the Freedom Convoy that GoFundMe had in limbo:

The update we issued earlier (below) enabled all donors to get a refund and outlined a plan to distribute remaining funds to verified charities selected by the Freedom Convoy organizers. However, due to donor feedback, we are simplifying the process. We will automatically refund all contributions directly — donors do not need to submit a request. You can expect to see your refund within 7–10 business days.

My PJ Media colleague Matt Margolis stated earlier today in a post for our VIPs (if you’re not one, you can subscribe here) that actions like this needn’t be necessary. The internet was supposed to be the great equalizer for all of us, and it was supposed to allow us to communicate and share with each other freely.

The problem, of course, is that Big Tech is growing increasingly censorious, but in one direction. Unfortunately, it’s a problem we’ll have to deal with for a long time to come.

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