Bestselling author Dr. Jordan Peterson and Rubin Report host Dave Rubin have left Patreon in protest of the funding platform’s censorship, losing up to $100,000 dollars of monthly income between the two of them in the process.
Peterson and Rubin left Patreon on Tuesday, after announcing their departure date at the start of this month.
According to Graphtreon, Peterson was also the tenth most popular Patreon account for five months in 2018, and the ninth most popular for three months.
Following a number of instances of censorship on the platform, however, Patreon users started to leave, culminating in a mass exodus of users following the blacklisting of political commentator Carl Benjamin, who is known as Sargon of Akkad online.
Following Benjamin’s blacklisting, and the subsequent exodus of users, Peterson and Rubin revealed an interest in creating a rival platform, and eventually set a date for their own departure.
In a video on January 1, Peterson claimed it was “unethical” to continue working with Patreon in the wake of its political censorship.
“It’s not something I’m thrilled about by any stretch of the imagination so you and I have been talking for a couple of weeks now ever since this scandal around Carl Benjamin, or Sargon of Akkad, broke we decided a while back that we were going to do, well, a variety of things,” declared Peterson in the video. “We’re going to announce our departure from Patreon, which is what we’re doing in this video. I’m going to leave Patreon January 15th.”
In the video, Peterson also added, “I also am going to leave Patreon on January 15th, which by the way, we should be clear, this is not something that we wanted to do. We were both perfectly happy on Patreon. Patreon, at least for me, it’s been the backbone of my show. I mean that’s somewhere between 60 and 70 percent of our funding is through Patreon, so this not something we wanted to do.”
“The implication was, oh we’re doing this for money, but it’s like, we’re taking a major hit right now and opening ourselves up to all sorts of risks, so I’m going ahead and doing that because I believe we can do something better,” he continued. “We’ve got to figure out exactly what that is, and that’s what we’re working on.”
Peterson then proclaimed, “I’m not happy in the least with what has happened. I have thought about it a lot, and believe that given Patreon’s proclivity to censor and the reasons that they’re doing it, especially as I’ve looked more and more deeply into the reasons… I’ve become increasingly convinced that it’s unethical to continue my association with the company.”
In the same video, Peterson and Rubin also claimed to still be working on their Patreon alternative.
Peterson and Rubin were not the first large Patreon users to leave the platform, with author Sam Harris, who was the eleventh most popular user, leaving Patreon in December.
“As many of you know, the crowdfunding site Patreon has banned several prominent content creators from its platform. While the company insists that each was in violation of its terms of service, these recent expulsions seems more readily explained by political bias,” expressed Harris at the time. “Although I don’t share the politics of the banned members, I consider it no longer tenable to expose any part of my podcast funding to the whims of Patreon’s ‘Trust and Safety’ committee. I will be deleting my Patreon account tomorrow.”
Podcast Sword and Scale, which is currently the fifth most popular account on Patreon, has also expressed interest in leaving for an alternative.
“As the fifth largest content creator on @Patreon, we do not feel the policing of speech should be part of the business model,” posted Sword and Scale on Twitter in December. “Looking forward to joining the alternative platform proposed by @RubinReport and @JordanBPeterson as soon as it’s launched.”