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Financial Blacklisting: Chase Bank Withdraws Service from Independent and Conservative Figures

Chase bank ATMs
Justin Sullivan/Getty
ALLUM BOKHARI

Chase, one of America’s big four retail banks, has withdrawn service from a number of conservatives in recent weeks, amid a rise in financial blacklisting by payment processors and credit card companies.

Martina Markota, a video host for the conservative news website Rebel Media, reported on social media that Chase sent her a letter earlier this month stating that it would terminate service to her business, Magnum Opus Productions LLC, which is linked to her graphic novel, “Lady Alchemy.”

Chase did not give a reason in the letter for its decision to terminate Markota’s account.

Markota’s report followed a string of similar incidents which saw Chase withdraw service either temporarily or permanently from Conservative and alternative media figures.

Last week, independent reporter, Army combat veteran and purple heart recipient Joe Biggs reported that Chase closed his account. Biggs told One America News that while the bank later agreed to resume services to him, it was only in the aftermath of social media backlash from the Trump-supporting veteran’s followers.

Biggs has opted to take his service to another bank, and started a “#CancelChase” hashtag on Twitter, urging his supporters to follow suit.

Earlier this month, Chase’s online payment processor withdrew service from 1776.shop, an online store run by Enrique Tarrio, the American of African and Cuban descent leader of the right-wing Proud Boys organization. Chase Banks subsequently sent Tarrio a letter informing him that they would shut down his personal account as well, giving him until the first of April to move his funds and automated payments to a different bank.

In addition to the bank’s withdrawal of service, Tarrio says he has also been banned from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Airbnb, and Firstdata, as well as from payment processors PayPal, Square, and Stripe.

Conservative activist Laura Loomer also reported that she was unable to access her Chase banking app last week, although it is not yet clear if this was a formal suspension or a system error, which are a common problem in banking apps.

These moves by Chase come amid a rise in politically motivated denials of service by credit cards, payment processors and online funding platforms.

In August, Mastercard and Discover blacklisted conservative and Islam critic Robert Spencer. In the same month, Visa and Mastercard ceased service to David Horowitz. While credit card processing service to Horowitz was eventually restored, Spencer remains financially blacklisted.

Online funding platform Patreon triggered a user boycott late last year when they withdrew service from the popular critic of progressivism Carl Benjamin, aka Sargon of Akkad. Numerous high-profile users of the platform including Sam Harris, Dave Rubin and Jordan Peterson quit the platform in protest. It later emerged that Patreon’s anticipation of credit card companies’ objections played a key role in its decision.

Many of the companies involved in the rise of financial blacklisting have faced a sustained campaign by left-wing agitators including the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and Color of Change urging them to withdraw service from conservatives and Trump supporters. The former was allegedly responsible for the blacklisting of Robert Spencer, while the latter claims to have removed 158 funding sources from “white supremacist sites” — although as the group didn’t publicly name the allegedly “white supremacist” sites. The far left typically smears regular Trump supporters with the label.

Even liberal groups have raised the alarm about financial blacklisting. In a comment to Breitbart News last July, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) warned that banks and payment processors were becoming “de facto internet censors.”

Responding to Breitbart News’ request for comment, a Chase Bank representative said that the bank would not comment on individual account-holders for privacy reasons. However, the representative added that the bank “would never close an account for political reasons.”

Update — Updated Chase Bank’s comment to “privacy” which originally read “policy”

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. You can follow him on TwitterGab.ai and add him on Facebook. Email tips and suggestions to allumbokhari@protonmail.com.

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