Elon Musk Responds To GoFundMe Canceling Freedom Convoy Fund For Canadian Truckers
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 13: Elon Musk attends TIME Person of the Year on December 13, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for TIME)
Theo Wargo/Getty Images for TIME

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk responded late on Friday to GoFundMe canceling the Freedom Convoy fundraiser for truckers that are protesting vaccine mandates in Canada by posting a meme targeting the company.

Musk responded to a tweet encouraging him to get his money back from GoFundMe after people had previously claimed that he donated to them.

“It’s not my money,” Musk responded.

In the tweet, Musk included a meme that showed thousands of packages on train tracks in Los Angeles that were left behind after thieves stole items from trains and labeled them “Amateur Thieves.” The meme then showed GoFundMe’s logo and labeled it, “Professional Thieves.”

Musk then showed a purported screenshot from GoFundMe’s Twitter account about the Capital Hill Occupied Protests (CHOP) in Seattle back in 2020 and asked, “Double standard?”

GoFundMe pulled Freedom Convoy the fundraiser after claiming that they had “evidence from law enforcement that the previously peaceful demonstration has become an occupation, with police reports of violence and other unlawful activity.”

GoFundMe canceled the fundraiser after it had raised approximately C$10 million for the truckers and already distributed C$1 million of the funds.

GoFundMe initially said in-part:

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.

In a statement, GoFundMe later reversed course, citing “donor feedback”:

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.

Several Republican Attorneys General responded to GoFundMe’s initial statement by announcing that their offices would be launching investigations into the company.

“🚨It’s totally unacceptable for @gofundme to siphon over $9M in donations sent to support #TruckersForFreedom2020 & funnel it to causes it supports,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said. “I will be investigating these deceptive practices. Donors should be given a refund.#TruckersConvoy2022 #TruckersForFreedom.”

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said that GoFundMe’s decision to reverse course and provide automatic refunds to donors was “not the end of the story.”

“I still want to hear from you if you donated,” Yost said to Ohio residents. “This needs to not happen again! It is deeply troubling to me that a professional fundraiser like #GoFundMe thought they had a right to take donations they are holding in trust and simply “redirect” them. We are going to get to the bottom of this.”

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody responded to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ announcement that the state would investigate GoFundMe.

“I’m sick and tired of corporations imposing their political will on unsuspecting consumers,” she said. “As always, I will work with @GovRonDeSantis to ensure Floridians are protected.”

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