On February 17th, Patreon’s Trust and Safety Team reached out to the authors of the This Week in Fascism column to notify them that their account was being terminated for supposedly violating Patreon’s wildly vague anti-doxxing policy. In their email, Patreon stated that not only would they be closing the account, but they also refused to allow an appeals process. Though they did state they would be open to questions or concerns via email, it was clear that Patreon’s Trust and Safety Team was unwilling to bend, budge or engage in any further dialogue around their outright ban of a trusted and valued account by which two antifascist femmes are receiving a small amount of monetary compensation.
Proud Boy leader Enrique Tarrio, who attended Unite the Right, works closely with Roger Stone + directs Latinos for Trump in #Florida, is behind the petition to label ‘antifa’ a ‘domestic terrorist group,’ which has been picked up by Ted Cruz + Trump. https://t.co/BHtch5BxOi pic.twitter.com/epLdDHU9Ab
— It’s Going Down (@IGD_News) August 1, 2019
On November 13th, a Telegram channel run by the Proud Boys and long boosted by Chairman Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, called the (now defunct) Mass Report and Retweet Channel, posted a link to This Week in Fascism’s Patreon account asking for the groups’ fascist followers to mass report the account for supposedly violating the company’s terms of service. It was evident that a column which reports and exposes fascist organizing would be perceived as a threat to one of the groups at the heart of the White Riot Capitol Siege on January 6th in DC. Tarrio has also been charged in connection to the Million MAGA March riots that happened in DC on December 12th that resulted in four anti-racist counter protesters being stabbed, local residents being assaulted, and Black Lives Matter banners being ripped from historic Black churches and burned in what has been described as a modern day cross burning.
Proud Boys mobilizing neo-fascist supporters to remove ‘This Week in Fascism’ from Patreon
A few details worth mentioning: This Week in Fascism reports on doxxes that have already been published by antifascist groups and individuals and are already readily available to the public. We do not publish our own doxxes, we highlight the excellent work of others. We also never published any of that information directly to Patreon’s platform. We published blurbs about each column installment with a link to the site where the column is being hosted. The column serves to protect marginalized communities that fascists and white supremacists who seek to not only harm, but obliterate. Far-Right organizing in this country has become widespread and commonplace and the column helps provide an accurate, informative lens into how this is manifesting online, on the streets, and in the halls of power.
If journalists really want to get to the heart of the #ProudBoys relationship with neo-Nazis – ask them why they keep standing up for paramilitary groups like Atomwaffen Division by mass reporting + harassing journalists + antifascists reporting on them. https://t.co/rqsNQZcLOf
— It’s Going Down (@IGD_News) October 1, 2020
It is both abhorrent and not-at-all surprising that Patreon would bend to the will of fascists. Back in 2017, only months before Heather Heyer was murdered by a neo-Nazi in Charlottesville, the company kicked off It’s Going Down from its platform, after being lobbied by the Alt-Right troll and conspiracy theorist Tim Pool. This followed Patreon removing the white nationalist activist Lauren Southern from their platform, after she and other white nationalists put the lives of migrants in danger while at sea in the Mediterranean and those on the far-Right demanded that IGD be removed in return.
🎉 Yesterday was the 5th anniversary of Liberapay’s launch. Like every year, a new blog post has been published to mark the occasion: https://t.co/TjIM3Z8FLS
— Liberapay (@liberapay) February 4, 2021
Over the course of five years now, Patreon has shown that it is willing to bend in the face of organized far-Right harassment campaigns. What happens when fascist, white nationalist, and neo-Nazi groups decide that your project deserves to be removed? Already, the Proud Boys have utilized their Mass Report Thread to silence journalists and activists, while also providing defense for neo-Nazi paramilitary groups like Atomwaffen.
We call on everyone that loves and utilizes our reporting to sign up to support us on a new platform, Liberapay. Liberapay is a non-profit and easy to use alternative to Patreon. Autonomous infrastructure projects like RiseUp have long used the site, and there is even an anarchist community hub that is currently growing. If you want to ensure This Week in Fascism grows into the future, please, support us on this new platform. Each and every dollar raised will go directly to the authors who continue to make the fascists lose sleep, year in and year out.