GoFundMe limits campaigns after Capitol riot; rival GiveSendGo splits with PayPal, citing censorship


GoFundMe and a lesser-known crowdfunding site, GiveSendGo, are undergoing changes after their services were used to raise money for people to attend what turned into an attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Less than a week since the insurrection unfolded, GoFundMe and GiveSendGo each separately explained Tuesday their comparatively different approaches to hosting online fundraisers moving forward.

GoFundMe confirmed it will block users from creating fundraisers to attend potentially violent political events, while GiveSendGo’s founder said he took steps to avoid what he described as censorship.

“We strongly condemn the violence and attempted insurrection and will continue to remove fundraisers that attempt to spread misinformation about the election, promote conspiracy theories and contribute to or participate in attacks on U.S. democracy,” GoFundMe said in a statement.

“Due to the violence, GoFundMe has removed numerous fundraisers intended to raise money for travel expenses,” the statement continued. “GoFundMe will remove fundraisers for travel expenses to a future political event where there’s risk of violence by the attendees.”

Jacob Wells, the founder of GiveSendGo, told The Washington Times that his service recently cut ties PayPal after the payment processing giant wanted to “censor” some campaigns on his site, meanwhile.

“They requested those campaign[s] to be shut down,” Mr. Wells said in an email. “After discussing it with our team we decided to stop using PayPal. We broke up first lol.”

Mr. Wells declined to say which campaigns PayPal allegedly raised concerns about, and PayPal did not immediately respond to a message requesting comment.

GiveSendGo, which bills itself as the premiere “free Christian crowdfunding site,” updated its terms of service on Thursday to remove mentions of PayPal or other payment processors.

President Trump had been encouraging his supporters to protest last Wednesday in Washington, D.C., and mobs of them accordingly stormed the Capitol Building during a joint session of Congress.

GoFundMe and GiveSendGo had each hosted a number of campaigns beforehand that had been created by people raising money to attend the protests, which ultimately resulted in the deaths of five people.

As of Tuesday, GiveSendGo, which bills itself as the premier “free Christian crowdfunding site,” was still hosting several campaigns that were created to raise money to travel to D.C., as well as at least one for someone arrested as a result of their conduct there.

More than $19,000 has been raised over GiveSendGo recently for Nicholas R. Ochs, a Hawaii man who shared a photo of himself on social media taken while trespassing inside the Capitol.

Mr. Ochs, the leader of the Hawaii chapter of the group called the Proud Boys, is among dozens arrested for charges related to last week’s storming of the Capitol. He has been released on bond.

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