GoFundMe Freezes Donations for The Grayzone

The crowdfunding platform GoFundMe has frozen a fundraising campaign for the independent investigative journalism website The Grayzone, known for opposing the US' foreign policy doctrine.

GoFundMe Freezes Donations for The Grayzone
Image credit: Wikimedia commons

Facts

  • The crowdfunding platform GoFundMe has frozen a fundraising campaign for the independent investigative journalism website The Grayzone, known for opposing the US' foreign policy doctrine.1
  • GoFundMe refused to transfer the $90K raised on its platform for the Grayzone Project. Editor-in-chief Max Blumenthal asked why it had not received the funds collected, to which GoFundMe replied, "Due to some external concerns, we need to review your fundraiser to make sure it complies with our Terms of Service."2
  • Grayzone's GoFundMe campaign sought to provide independent journalists Wyatt Reed, Kit Klarenberg, and Alex Rubinstein with long-term positions.3
  • According to Blumenthal, the GoFundMe's review was undertaken for "political reasons" related to the website's coverage of Ukraine, adding that he believes someone "fairly powerful" would be needed "to get GoFundMe to overlook the profit motive that usually governs companies like this."1
  • This follows GoFundMe's decision, also apparently due to criticism of US foreign policy, to take down MintPress News' fundraiser in March 2022. Two months later, PayPal banned Consortium News.2
  • Civil liberties advocacy groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have raised concerns about tech companies suppressing unpopular speech, given their "utility-like" status and role as "gatekeeper to the modern-day public square."1

Sources: 1Al Jazeera, 2The Dissenter, and 3Grayzone.

Narratives

  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Racket News. Even those who don't agree with Grayzone's politics should be outraged and alarmed. The "anti-disinformation" complex is close to perfecting the application of financial pressure, finishing a job begun thirteen years ago when PayPal froze donations after Wikileaks got a letter from the US Dept. of State. This is a secretive public-private scheme to erode free speech, and all citizens should be alarmed.
  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Media Bias/ Fact Check. The Grayzone is not a freedom-fighting investigative journalism outlet, but rather a repeat offender with respect to spreading misinformation about major foreign military stories such as the gas attacks in Syria. The outlet's leadership has appeared in Russian state media, which is problematic to say the least.