A series of articles published this week are criticizing crowdfunding platform GoFundMe for allowing conservative students to use the service to raise funds to cover security costs for their MILO events.
The campaigns are typically started by conservative and libertarian groups on campus, and have become increasingly common as Amercan colleges demand exorbitant security fees from students wishing to host MILO on campus. Now left-wing journalists are trying to prevent get the fundraising campaigns kicked off GoFundMe, one of the largest crowdfunding platforms on the web.
An article in the Seattle-based newspaper The Stranger argued that the practice of raising funds to cover security costs for MILO events was a direct violation of GoFundMe’s policy, citing that campaigns that explicitly promote hatred are not permitted on the crowdsourcing platform.
San Diego-based GoFundMe, which takes a five percent cut from its crowdfunding campaigns, has a user service policy that explicitly prohibits “the promotion of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, terrorism, or intolerance of any kind relating to race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender or gender identity, or serious disabilities or diseases.” But promoting intolerance based on race, ethnicity, and gender identity is at the root of Yiannopoulos’s unimaginative celebrity.
The article was written by Sydney Brownstone, a staff writer who joined The Stranger in January 2015. She is a former contributor to the online progressive blog, Mother Jones. In her article for The Stranger, Brownstone argued that GoFundMe is profiting off of MILO’s “racist, sexist, anti-Muslim, and anti-trans vitriol.”
Prominent leftist Dan Savage is now joining the pile-on against GoFundMe.
— Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) January 5, 2017
In an article from Queerty written, an online publication that focuses on gay issues, staff writer Ben Douglas also makes the case that the students are violating GoFundMe’s policies by using the platform to promote “hatred.”
Douglas echoed a remark made by ABC Nightline host Terry Moran and called MILO a “13-year-old idiot,” because of his role in the attacks against Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones. Douglas goes on to argue that the success of several GoFundMe campaigns for MILO events suggest that MILO is convincing college students to that it’s a sign of strength to lack compassion with regards to the struggles that others face.
The whole situation stinks — someone is running around the country assuring college students that it’s a sign of strength to be insensitive to the pain of others. Gofundme could certainly put a stop to it — if they wanted to. Then again, they’re probably enjoying their 5% cut of the fundraising.
In an article covering the use of GoFundMe to cover security costs at an upcoming MILO event at the University of Washington, Neal McNamara from The Seattle Patch incorrectly labeled MILO an “inflammatory alt-right pundit,” despite MILO’s repeated denial of association with the alt-right movement.
Lindsay Cohen of KOMO News in Seattle, also falsely assigned MILO the “alt-right” label: “Alt-Right speaker Milo Yiannopoulos is scheduled to speak at the University of Washington on Jan. 20, the same day as the inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump, organizers confirmed Thursday.”
As of now, GoFundMe, hasn’t responded to request for comment from the journalists responsible for articles. For an event planned for later in the month, students at the University of Washington exceeded their fundraising goal by $2,000, raising over $9,000 for to cover the security costs for their MILO event.
Just this week, USA Today, was forced to issue a retraction after committing an act of libel by calling MILO a “white nationalist.”