In the days following last weekend’s Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, many websites and tech companies have taken a strong stand against white supremacist and alt-right interests.
Even before the rally, Airbnb deactivated the accounts of some of its members who the company believed were headed to Charlottesville for the event.
Within 48 hours of the rally and the violence that occurred in connection with it, the notorious neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer was denied domain registration and server hosting services by GoDaddy, Google, and several other companies that said it had violated their terms of service.
Now the crowdfunding website GoFundMe and the online payment system PayPal are removing campaigns and accounts offering financial support to users associated with far-right ideologies, including white nationalists and white supremacists.
GoFundMe has taken down several crowdfunding efforts aimed at assisting with James Fields’s legal defense, according to Reuters. Fields is the Ohio man accused of killing one person and injuring 19 others after driving his car into a crowd of counterprotesters in Charlottesville on Saturday. He was denied bail by a Charlottesville court earlier this week after being charged with one count of hit and run, three counts of malicious wounding, and second-degree murder.
PayPal has removed at least 34 organizations from its platform, according to the Washington Post. A list provided to the Post by racial justice organization Color of Change identifies the National Policy Institute, which is run by prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer, as well as several accounts associated with Unite the Right rally organizer Jason Kessler, among those whose access to PayPal has been terminated.
Like Airbnb and GoDaddy, GoFundMe and PayPal are citing their terms of service prohibiting hate speech, abuse, or violence as the reason for terminating the campaigns.
Bobby Whithorne, GoFundMe’s director of strategic communications, told Reuters the campaigns that have been launched on the platform to support Fields “did not raise any money and they were immediately removed.” He estimated that there have been fewer than 10 campaigns of that nature so far, but said any new ones will also be removed.
Both GoFundMe and PayPal, along with many of their mainstream competitors, have policies that prohibit the promotion of hate speech, violence, and threatening or abusive behavior.
In a statement released on PayPal’s website late Tuesday night, the company said that it works “to ensure that our services are not used to accept payments or donations for activities that promote hate, violence or racial intolerance” and that the company will “limit or end customer relationships and prohibit the use of our services by those that meet the thresholds of violating our policy.”