C: Bangkok Post

GoFundMe backs down on plans to ‘redistribute’ Truckers funds 

The crowdfunding platform GoFundMe has backed down and reversed its decision to redistribute nearly Can$10 million in donations made to Canada’s ‘Freedom Convoy’ protest, money which supporters intended to back the truckers on protest. 

The donations will now be refunded to donors automatically, instead of being redistributed to charities whom Go Fund Me had said would be chosen with the Freedom Convoy.

An alternative crowdfunding site, Give Send Go, accepted at least two new efforts to support the truckers, and the volume of traffic almost caused the Christian site to crash. One fundraiser has already reached almost $6 million, while another ‘Adopt a Trucker’ initiative has passed half a million Canadian dollars.

Go Fund Me backtracked after an escalating backlash on social media – and threats of investigations by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and other state prosecutors.

The crowdfunding platform initially said “Given how this situation has evolved, no further funds will be directly distributed to the Freedom Convoy organizers — we will work with organizers to send all remaining funds to credible and established charities chosen by the Freedom Convoy 2022 organizers and verified by GoFundMe.”

However, Governor DeSantis tweeted on Saturday that he and state Attorney General Ashley Moody will “investigate these deceptive practices”, saying it was a “fraud” for GoFundMe to “commandeer $9 [million] in donations sent to support truckers and give it to causes of their own choosing”.

The truckers protest continues in Ottawa and elsewhere, and while police and the Canadian authorities have condemned the demonstration as an ‘occupation’, commentator and journalist Andrew Lawton told GB news that the description of ‘siege’ did not align with “photos you see of children playing on bouncy castles and people singing.”

 

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