Digital payments processor PayPal Holdings Inc. has blocked the Christian crowdfunding site GiveSendGo after it was used to raise funds for people to attend a rally in Washington, D.C., last Wednesday that erupted in a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The company also confirmed with Reuters that it had closed the account of Ali Alexander, director of the "Stop the Steal" movement, who urged people to go to Washington for the "Save America Rally" on Jan. 6 that was hosted by Women for America First.
GiveSendGo's founder and CFO, Jacob Wells, told The Christian Post in a statement that was also shared with Reuters, that they were the ones who initiated the decision to stop doing business with PayPal.
"PayPal contacted us about a concern regarding certain campaigns that they wanted to censor. They requested those campaign to be shut down. We told them on a phone call, we disagreed with their stance but we would take those campaigns down. After discussing it with our team we decided to stop using PayPal. We broke up first," Wells said.
He further noted that contrary to what was reported by Reuters, GiveSendGo did not raise funds for anyone involved in the rally.
"GiveSendGo is a platform. We do not fundraise or promote campaigns on GiveSendGo. We allow people of all different nationalities, religions, political ideologies etc to use GiveSendGo to fundraise themselves, from their own supporters, for the things they are passionate about. We do not allow campaigns that seek to fundraise for things that break the law," he explained.
Wells said his platform is currently using " alternative payment solutions" and would continue to allow "all people" to raise funds through it as long as they are not breaking the law.
"We will continue to provide our platform to all people that are fundraising within the boundaries of the law without siding with political ideologies. We are not backing down," he said.
"I want to stress what our Mission is GiveSendGo exists to share the hope of Jesus with everyone that uses our platform. From the Giver to the Goer(campaign owner). We do not give money to, support/endorse, condone every campaign on our platform. This is no different than the idea that twitter agrees with every tweet you post," Wells said. "Jesus was called a 'Friend of Sinners'. He hung out with/engaged with/was called names for being willing to associate with all sorts of people. If this is what we are being accused of, then guilty as charged."
The PayPal decision comes after technology giants Apple, Google, and Amazon banned social networking app Parler, alleging it allowed violent comments before pro-Trump protesters and others breached the U.S. Capitol in a bid to prevent the confirmation of President-elect Joe Biden's victory by Congress which was affirmed early last Thursday.
“Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people’s safety. We have suspended Parler from the App Store until they resolve these issues,” Apple said in a statement.
“We believe the risks of allowing the president to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great. Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete,” Zuckerberg said in a statement Thursday morning.
Yet, even as he faces a second impeachment for his actions in his one and only term in office Tuesday, Trump told reporters that he felt his speech at the rally “was totally appropriate.”
“People thought what I said was totally appropriate,” he told reporters at Joint Base Andrews, en route to Alamo, Texas.
He argued that racial justice protests during the summer were “the real problem.”
“If you look at what other people have said, politicians at a high level about the riots during the summer, the horrible riots in Portland and Seattle and various other places, that was a real problem,” he said, according to The New York Times.
A campaign on GiveSendGo, which boasts that it is the “#1 Free Christian Fundraising site,” that was launched last week raised more than $100,000 for the legal defense of Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, the Afro-Cuban international chairman of the far-right Proud Boys group who was arrested for the burning of a Black Lives Matter banner at a historic Washington, D.C., church, just two days before the attack on the Capitol.
Police shot and killed an unarmed woman as she attempted to climb through a smashed door pane into the House chamber during the riot while three others died from health emergencies. A U.S. Capitol police officer also died Thursday after he suffered injuries while responding to the breach. Another Capitol police officer who responded to the riot died by suicide on Saturday.