By, Trevor Brown
GoFundme backtracks on redistributing #truckersforfreedom charity donation money today. Just a few days after Florida Governor Ron Desantis announced that he would “investigate these deceptive practices”.
It is a fraud for @gofundme to commandeer $9M in donations sent to support truckers and give it to causes of their own choosing.
I will work with @AGAshleyMoody to investigate these deceptive practices — these donors should be given a refund.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 5, 2022
The original statement from GoFundMe 2/4/2022:
To ensure GoFundMe remains a trusted platform, we work with local authorities to ensure we have a detailed, factual understanding of events taking place on the ground. Following a review of relevant facts and multiple discussions with local law enforcement and city officials, this fundraiser is now in violation of our Terms of Service (Term 8, which prohibits the promotion of violence and harassment) and has been removed from the platform.
Organizers provided a clear distribution plan for the initial $1M that was released earlier this week and confirmed funds would be used only for participants who traveled to Ottawa to participate in a peaceful protest. 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.
As of today their has been no documented evidence of organized or widespread violence throughout the #truckersforfreedom demonstration.
GoFundMe encouraged donors to submit a “refund form”, saying “any funds not properly returned to donors would be donated to a charity chosen by the Freedom Convoy”. Within hours, GoFundMe walked back the refund applications. Announcing it would be refunding donors automatically.
To simplify the process for our users, we will be refunding all donations to the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser. This refund will happen automatically—you do not need to submit a request. Donors can expect to see refunds within 7-10 business days.
— GoFundMe (@gofundme) February 5, 2022