Bokhari: The Terrifying Rise of Financial Blacklisting by the
DNC biased PayPal, Patreon, Visa and others
It is the most totalitarian form of blacklisting: not just to be
prevented from speaking on a university campus, or to be kicked off
social media, but to be shut out of the entire financial system. That is
the terrifying new threat to freedom that western societies must now
Financial blacklisting doesn’t just rob you of a chance to spread your
message: it robs you of your ability to do business, your livelihood,
your very means of functioning in a capitalist society. Thanks to the
encroachment of progressive ideology into the financial industry —
including major credit card companies like Visa, Discover, and
Mastercard — it has now become a reality.
Since then, financial blacklisting has only gotten worse. In August, Mastercard
and Discover deplatformed conservative
and Islam critic Robert Spencer. In the same month, Visa
and Mastercard ceased service to David Horowitz. While credit card
processing service to Horowitz was eventually restored, Spencer remains
Crowdfunding platforms like Patreon, which allow online content creators
to collect donations from their supporters, are frequently cast as the
primary villains in financial blacklisting. Patreon’s recent ban of
YouTuber Carl Benjamin, better known by his moniker Sargon of Akkad, triggered
a crisis for the platform. Both donors and creators — including
prominent atheist Sam Harris — quit the platform in protest, while Jordan
Peterson and Dave Rubin pledged to create an alternative platform that is
But Patreon and other crowdfunding platforms are not the real villains.
They are dependent on the whims of the credit card companies, something
that was already apparent in August when Mastercard forced them to
withdraw service from Robert Spencer. We now know that the credit card
companies were also a factor in Patreon’s decision to boot Benjamin.
YouTuber and Patreon creator Matt Christiansen recently released a transcript of
his conversation with Jacqueline Hart of Patreon about Benjamin’s ban.
Hart frankly admits that the sensibilities of credit card companies play a
key role in Patreon’s decisions.
Here’s an excerpt of that transcript (emphasis ours):
JACQUELINE: The problem is is
Patreon takes payments. And while we are obviously supportive of
the first amendment, there are other things that we have to consider.
Our mission is to fund the creative class. In order to accomplish that
mission we have to build a community of creators that are comfortable
sharing a platform, and if we allow certain types of speech that some
people would call free speech, then only creators that use Patreon
that don’t mind their branding associated with that kind of speech
would be those who use Patreon and we fail at our mission. But
secondly as a membership platform, payment processing is one of the
core value propositions that we have. Payment processing depends
on our ability to use the global payment network, and they have
rules for what they will process.
MATT: Are you telling me
that this was Patreon’s decision then, or someone pressured you into
JACQUELINE: No – this was
entirely Patreon’s decision.
MATT: Well then I don’t
understand passing the buck off to somebody else.
JACQUELINE: No, I’m not
passing the buck off. The thing is we have guidelines, but I’m
trying to explain, #1 it is our mission to fund the creative class and
obviously some people may not want to be associated.
MATT: Well if it’s your
mission, then payment processors are irrelevant. It’s your
mission. That’s what you’re pursuing.
not visa and mastercard ourselves – we can’t just make the rules.
That’s what I’m saying – there is an extra layer there.
This “extra layer” places platforms like Patreon in an impossible
position: abandon free speech or lose your ability to process payments.
That’s also why so many free-speech alternatives to Patreon have failed:
FreeStartr, Hatreon, MakerSupport, and SubscribeStar all tried to offer a
more open platform, and were promptly dumped by the credit card companies.
All are unable to do business.
This exposes the emptiness of establishment conservative arguments about
the free market. Those who oppose Silicon Valley censorship aren’t allowed
to just build their own alternative platforms. They must build their own
global payment processing infrastructure to have any hope of restoring
free speech online.
That, or they must find a way to stop Visa, Mastercard and Discover from
taking advice from the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and
Color of Change. The former was allegedly responsible for the blacklisting
of Robert Spencer, while the latter claims to have
removed 158 funding sources from “white supremacist sites” —
although as the group won’t list what those sites are, we don’t know if
they really are “white supremacist.” The far left typically includes
regular Trump supporters under the label.
Another thing the credit card companies will have to avoid — listening to
the New York Times, which is currently
pressuring them to blacklist gun purchasers.
The only other option is to find an alternative to Visa, MasterCard, and
Discover that is indifferent about American social justice politics.
There’s only one card which has a similar level of global coverage —
China’s UnionPay. It remains to be seen if a company at
the whim of Chinese Communists is better than Visa, Discover, and
Mastercard — all of which currently appear to be at the whim of American
Visa, Mastercard, Discover and Patreon did not return requests for