On Sunday evening, famed atheist Sam Harris fired off a tweet announcing he would delete his Patreon account on Monday to protest Patreon banning several content creators from using their platform. Harris wrote:
Dear Patreon Supporters —
As many of you know, the crowdfunding site Patreon has banned several prominent content creators from its platform. While the company insists that each was in violation of its terms of service, these recent expulsions seem more readily explained by political bias. Although I don’t share the politics of the banned members, I consider it no longer tenable to expose any part of my podcast funding to the whims of Patreon’s “Trust and Safety” committee.
I will be deleting my Patreon account tomorrow. If you want to continue sponsoring my work, I encourage you to open a subscription at samharris.org/subscribe.
As always, I remain deeply grateful for your support.
Wishing you all a very happy New Year….
Patreon has banned several personalities from the platform, including British YouTuber Carl Benjamin, better known as Sargon of Akkad, commentator James Allsup, and Milo Yiannopoulos. In July 2017, Patreon banned former Rebel Media personality Lauren Southern.
The American Thinker quoted Far Left Watch, which reported, “There are several far-left users who appear to be blatantly violating Patreon's Community Guidelines. These users are raising thousands of dollars each month and are actively using that money to organize and advocate for violent and often illegal criminal activity.” Far Left Watch listed Revolutionary Left Radio and The Guillotine Podcast.
After the banning of Sargon, Jordan Peterson, a fellow member of the Intellectual Dark Web along with Harris, wrote:
I have been engaged in a series of intense conversations with many of the people in the so-called Intellectual Dark Web over the last two weeks because of the banning by Patreon of Carl Benjamin, colloquially known as Sargon of Akkad.
I am an admirer of Sargon, and he was a great friend of mine when I was in deep trouble two years ago. I think there is no excuse for deplatforming him (particularly when his fundamental crime was defending himself against neo-Nazis). I have been talking continually with the majority of members of the so-called Intellectual Dark Web, and we are determining what steps to take. We thought about moving to alternatively crowd-funding platforms such as SubscribeStar, but it isn't obvious that will constitute a long-term solution. Dave Rubin and I (and others) have been discussing the establishment of a Patreon-like enterprise that will not be susceptible to arbitrary censorship, and we are making progress, but these things cannot be rushed without the possibility of excess error.
But I am seriously displeased about the removal of Sargon (and many other people) and will definitely do something about it. Rest assured, if you will (1) that I remain deeply grateful for your support and committed to ensure that the money you pledge will be devoted to the highest cause possible and (2) that none of this is being treated with casual disregard.