Following a backlash from GoFundMe’s decision to shut down the “Freedom Convoy” fundraiser, citing unspecified “evidence” that the protest was no longer peaceful, the fundraising website has backtracked when it comes to refunding donors.
When first announcing it was shutting down the Freedom Convoy, GoFundMe told donors they would need to use a “dedicated refund form” to request their money back, otherwise the funds would be sent to a “credible and established” charity verified by GoFundMe. On Saturday morning, however, GoFundMe changed the decision and said the funds would be automatically returned:
To simplify the process for our users, we will be refunding all donations to the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser. This refund will happen automatically—you do not need to submit a request. Donors can expect to see refunds within 7-10 business days.
The update we issued earlier enabled all donors to get a refund and outlined a plan to distribute remaining funds to verified charities selected by the Freedom Convoy organizers. However, due to donor feedback, we are simplifying the process and automatically refunding donations.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, GoFundMe released a statement on Friday announcing that it had shut down the Freedom Convoy page, claiming the page violated its terms of service:
GoFundMe supports peaceful protests and we believe that was the intention of the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser when it was first created.
We now have evidence from law enforcement that the previously peaceful demonstration has become an occupation, with police reports of violence and other unlawful activity.
To ensure GoFundMe remains a trusted platform, we work with local authorities to ensure we have a detailed, factual understanding of events taking place on the ground. Following a review of relevant facts and multiple discussions with local law enforcement and city officials, this fundraiser is now in violation of our Terms of Service (Term 8, which prohibits the promotion of violence and harassment) and has been removed from the platform.
Organizers provided a clear distribution plan for the initial $1M that was released earlier this week and confirmed funds would be used only for participants who traveled to Ottawa to participate in a peaceful protest. Given how this situation has evolved, no further funds will be directly distributed to the Freedom Convoy organizers — we will work with organizers to send all remaining funds to credible and established charities verified by GoFundMe.
All donors may submit a request for a full refund until February 19th, 2022 using this dedicated refund form.
GoFundMe did not provide any of the “evidence” it claimed to have showing the Freedom Convoy was no longer peaceful, nor did it specify what charities could receive the money people donated for this specific cause. It should be noted that GoFundMe didn’t cancel Black Lives Matter pages when it was clear the associated riots had become violent.
Related: West Virginia Attorney General Slams GoFundMe, Urges Residents To Report Deceptive Practices After ‘Freedom Convoy’ Page Shut Down