Subscription service, Patreon, allows people to receive donations from their audience. Lately, this service has been used to fund many alt-right and far-right content. But the website is taking a stand.
Patreon recently banned the accounts of several controversial public figures, part of a wider push by tech companies to de-platform users linked to the alt-right and far right.
Alt-Right Content Creators
The account of British conspiracy theorist YouTuber Carl Benjamin, better known as Sargon of Akkad, was removed Thursday. This followed the removal in August of U.S. far-right political commentator James Allsup.
Without Patreon, Benjamin will not be able to receive donations from his fans. He was reportedly earning as much as $12,000 per month from the platform. Benjamin’s ban came a day after far-right activist Milo Yiannopoulos saw his account killed — just 24 hours after he set it up to fund a “magnificent 2019 comeback” tour. The former Breitbart editor was cut off because of his association with the far-right group Proud Boys, Patreon said.
Patreon is the latest technology company to cut off payment options for users linked to hate groups or hate speech. PayPal and Stripe have previously taken similar action.
Wave of De-platforming
This has been a year where online platforms take greater responsibility to ban problematic figures, many of whom identify as members of the alt-right, from spreading malicious, incorrect, and defamatory information.
Gab, a free-speech social network favored by the right-wing community, has also been cut off by payment processors. Many of its users reacted angrily to the latest de-platforming, criticizing the company but also President Donald Trump’s for failing to protect free speech rights of conservative voices.
Yiannopoulos is perhaps the most well-known alt-right figure to get de-platformed from yet another service. He was banned from his biggest platform, Twitter, in 2016. However, despite Facebook’s attempts to purge fake news and racist commentary, Yiannopoulos remains unbanned from Zuckerberg’s social network. Similarly, Yiannopoulos has not been banned from Instagram, either — no surprise since Facebook owns Instagram.
De-platforming guys like Jones, Yiannopoulos, and Benjamin is a step in the right direction for stopping them from acquiring the capital they need, financial and otherwise, to keep advancing their phony bullshit. Good on Patreon for taking a stand.