West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has urged residents in his state to contact him if they believe they have been victimized by false advertising such as GoFundMe choosing to shutdown the Canadian Freedom Convoy fundraiser in support of the protesting Canada’s COVID-19 mandates on Friday evening.
“#GoFundMe now won’t honor #FreedomConvoy donations and will instead redirect to other charities?” Morrisey tweeted late Friday evening. “In WV, organizations must not deceive donors and engage in deceptive advertising practices. If you’ve been victimized by a deceptive act or practice, let us know!”
In WV, organizations must not deceive donors and engage in deceptive advertising practices.
If you’ve been victimized by a deceptive act or practice, let us know!
— Patrick Morrisey (@MorriseyWV) February 5, 2022
In reaction to the tweet, Donald J. Trump Jr. responded, “All GOP Attorney Generals should be looking at this & helping to get people their $$$ back so it can be redirected to the truckers. Don’t let @gofundme scam you… call your AGs & let them know. GFM seems to have no problem finding BLM riots… peaceful truckers should be fine too.”
All GOP Attorney Generals should be looking at this & helping to get people their $$$ back so it can be redirected to the truckers. Don’t let @gofundme scam you… call your AGs & let them know. GFM seems to have no problem finding BLM riots… peaceful truckers should be fine too. https://t.co/YYLpQDUYl1
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 5, 2022
On Friday, The Daily Wire reported that the fundraising group had shut down the Freedom Convoy page under suspicious circumstances:
GoFundMe, the crowdsourcing fundraising platform used by a variety of political persuasion and causes, has released a statement saying that they will be shutting down the Canadian Freedom Convoy page that organizers had been using to raise more than 10 million Canadian dollars for individuals and truck drivers protesting Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
According to the company, they now have “evidence” that the protest is no longer peaceful and is now an “occupation,” which violates their terms of services, although they did not specify what evidence they were referencing.
GoFundMe released the following statement Friday evening, stating that those who donated to the Freedom Convoy had to submit a request for refund to get their money back, otherwise it would be donated to “credible and established charities,” though it is unclear exactly what charities the company would donate the money toward instead:
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.
This article was expanded after publication to include additional information.