(Heather Wilson, GiveSendGo) A few weeks ago, GiveSendGo along with the rest of America watched as Jose Alba, a New York City bodega clerk defended himself against a violent attacker and then was charged with his murder.
In Alba’s greatest time of need, GoFundMe took down his legal defense campaign saying it violated their “terms of service.”
Today, they continue to allow a campaign on their site for Andrew “Tekle” Sundberg, a violent criminal, who fired shots into the apartment of a woman and her two young children.
Although we’ve known their bias all along, now we’re seeing the obvious double standard of GoFundMe.
For them to allow fundraising for a perpetrator of a violent crime and in the same couple of weeks also remove someone who was defending themselves against a violent criminal, we no longer have a question if they have an ideological bent.
This isn’t just big tech. GiveSendGo is big tech. GoFundMe has turned into bad tech and it’s time bad tech companies be taken down and replaced because they continue to get it wrong over and over again.
It’s a sad day when an immigrant, diligently working at his job, has a violent crime committed against him and then is deplatformed by a big tech company.
We don’t know how the people of GoFundMe can sleep at night. On the worst day of Alba’s life, when he was forced to take another man’s life to defend his own, GoFundMe kicked him while he was down by taking away his voice.
GoFundMe added to their terms of service that they will not allow campaigns for, “the legal defense of alleged crimes associated with hate, violence, harassment, bullying, discrimination, terrorism, or intolerance of any kind,” shortly after banning Kyle Rittenhouse’s campaign in 2020.
Like Alba’s, the campaign was created to raise funds for Rittenhouse’s legal defense. Later at his trial in November of 2021, Rittenhouse was found “not guilty” by a jury.
If it wasn’t for GiveSendGo, Kyle Rittenhouse and Jose Alba wouldn’t have been able to raise funds for their legal defense, a privilege and a right afforded to every American citizen.
Is it a crowdfunding site’s responsibility to make decisions about who is and isn’t worthy to raise funds on their platform? Certainly not. It’s unconstitutional.
GiveSendGo would allow both Alba’s and Sundberg’s campaigns on our site not because we agree or side with one or the other, or both, but because we believe that people’s voices matter.
We stand behind our justice system who ultimately determines a person’s guilt or innocence. GoFundMe is taking away the voice of the innocent and playing God in situations where they believe they can take control of “the little people”.
Bad tech can be replaced. In the case of crowdfunding, GiveSendGo is the solution and the replacement for corrupt crowdfunding platforms.
The responsibility of a crowdfunding platform is to provide a place where people can raise money for what they believe in while allowing their voices to be heard and we’re to protect their freedom to do so.
We’re honored to play a significant role in people’s lives both when they’re at their highest of highs and lowest of lows.
GiveSendGo is more than just a crowdfunding platform that meets people’s material needs. We step in with hope and meet their spiritual needs as well, and desire to restore dignity to those who come to us as their last resort. It’s our goal to help people help others so they can be the change they want to see in the world.
We need freedom because, otherwise, voices will continue to go unheard. Without freedom, we won’t see an end to the discrimination of others who are simply trying to take advantage of their basic human rights.
Turn to GiveSendGo, the leader in freedom fundraising, and the host of campaigns for people like Jose Alba who deserve a platform that honors their voice, their cause, and their freedoms.
Editor’s note: Although Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has reportedly dropped the murder charges against Jose Alba, donors can still contribute to help offset his legal expenses and other lost wages at givesendgo.com/HelpJoseAlba.
Heather Wilson is the co-founder of GiveSendGo.