Prominent members of the so-called alt-right and other right-wing movements often rely on crowdfunding platforms and online payment processors to fund their causes (and sometimes even their bail), but lately they‘ve been having trouble accessing the money donated by their supporters. Over the past five months, PayPal has banned or hobbled the accounts of several prominent people and groups that promote far-right politics. Crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe, Patreon, and YouCaring have also cut fundraisers for alt-right–associated causes and people.
To many right-wingers, this fight over online payments is yet another battle in what they perceive as a nationwide war on their protected speech. Now some are attempting to build their own crowdfunding and payment processing platforms that will be sympathetic to their divisive politics.
The trend began earlier this year when PayPal limited the alt-right white supremacist site Occidental Dissent‘s account on May 1. The next day, PayPal limited the account of blogger Roosh V, a pickup artist associated with the men‘s rights movement, whose views often align with the alt-right. On May 4, the company banned the alt-right–associated personality Kyle Chapman, known on the internet as Based Stickman. And the alt-right crowdfunded investigations site WeSearchr also found itself on PayPal‘s “currently limited“ list in early May, but PayPal said that hold was because of business compliance issues, not a violation of its anti-hate policies.