MasterCard forces funding platform to drop anti-jihad activist Robert Spencer

MasterCard is forcing the funding platform Patreon to drop author and anti-jihad activist Robert Spencer's account. 

Breitbart:

"My name is April and I'm on the Trust & Safety team here at Patreon. I've been notified by Mastercard that we must remove your account from Patreon, effective immediately," wrote Patreon in an email to Spencer.  "Mastercard has a stricter set of rules and regulations than Patreon, and they reserve the right to not offer their services to accounts of their choosing.  This is in line with their terms of service, which means it's something we have to comply by."

"I have paid out your remaining creator balance of $475.22 to you via direct deposit," the company continued.  "I'm sorry for the inconvenience and frustration this might cause."

Censorship with a friendly smile.

As is usually the case, the arbitrariness of the action goes unexplained.

"I'd been given no warning before this of anything amiss with my account… so what violated their rules?  They hadn't explained," Spencer declared, adding that Patreon "never explained why MasterCard objected to my account or why they had to comply with MasterCard's wishes, and didn't answer my request for an explanation."

"I don't have a MasterCard and didn't have one attached to my Patreon account, so MasterCard really wasn't involved," he explained.  "Unless it owns Patreon, which is apparently the case."

So, censorship by proxy.  Spencer's views are controversial, but so are Bernie Sanders's.  "Controversy" apparently had little to do with Spencer's banning.

Spencer noted that he could have been shut down due to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) listing him on its "extremist files" for criticizing Islam.  Spencer's Jihad Watch website is a strong critic of Islamic extremism.  According to the site, "Why Jihad Watch?  Because non-Muslims in the West, as well as in India, China, Russia, and the world over, are facing a concerted effort by Islamic jihadists, the motives and goals of whom are largely ignored by the Western media, to destroy their societies and impose Islamic law upon them – and to commit violence to that end even while their overall goal remains out of reach.  That effort goes under the general rubric of jihad."

Patreon has previously banned conservative author Lauren Southern and commentator Brittany Pettibone.

Spencer believes his removal from Patreon is part of a larger trend.  He told Breitbart News "This seems to me to be all part of the general attempt to silence all dissenting voices and leave only Leftists speaking in the runup to the 2018 elections."

There are currently 60 defamation lawsuits pending against the SPLC.  Its reputation as an unbiased fighter of hate is in tatters.  Using any information from the SPLC is akin to a respectable newspaper using stories about an alien invasion from the Weekly World News. 

Spencer is deluding himself if he believes that after the midterms, things will return to normal.  This is the new normal online, and the right had better get used to it. 

Is MasterCard itself under pressure from another entity?  This is entirely possible.  Or it could simply be that Patreon was looking for an excuse to drop Spencer and is using MasterCard as cover.

What is extremely troubling – besides using the SPLC as a guide to hate – is the lack of explanation for what exactly Spencer did to get himself banned.  It's like the East German Stasi, the secret police.  To this day, there are families who were never told what happened to their loved ones when the Stasi whisked them away in the dead of night.

There is zero transparency, which leads to zero accountability.  You would hope Spencer would be able to find another platform for his work, but given the circumstances, it doesn't look promising.

MasterCard is forcing the funding platform Patreon to drop author and anti-jihad activist Robert Spencer's account. 

Breitbart:

"My name is April and I'm on the Trust & Safety team here at Patreon. I've been notified by Mastercard that we must remove your account from Patreon, effective immediately," wrote Patreon in an email to Spencer.  "Mastercard has a stricter set of rules and regulations than Patreon, and they reserve the right to not offer their services to accounts of their choosing.  This is in line with their terms of service, which means it's something we have to comply by."

"I have paid out your remaining creator balance of $475.22 to you via direct deposit," the company continued.  "I'm sorry for the inconvenience and frustration this might cause."

Censorship with a friendly smile.

As is usually the case, the arbitrariness of the action goes unexplained.

"I'd been given no warning before this of anything amiss with my account… so what violated their rules?  They hadn't explained," Spencer declared, adding that Patreon "never explained why MasterCard objected to my account or why they had to comply with MasterCard's wishes, and didn't answer my request for an explanation."

"I don't have a MasterCard and didn't have one attached to my Patreon account, so MasterCard really wasn't involved," he explained.  "Unless it owns Patreon, which is apparently the case."

So, censorship by proxy.  Spencer's views are controversial, but so are Bernie Sanders's.  "Controversy" apparently had little to do with Spencer's banning.

Spencer noted that he could have been shut down due to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) listing him on its "extremist files" for criticizing Islam.  Spencer's Jihad Watch website is a strong critic of Islamic extremism.  According to the site, "Why Jihad Watch?  Because non-Muslims in the West, as well as in India, China, Russia, and the world over, are facing a concerted effort by Islamic jihadists, the motives and goals of whom are largely ignored by the Western media, to destroy their societies and impose Islamic law upon them – and to commit violence to that end even while their overall goal remains out of reach.  That effort goes under the general rubric of jihad."

Patreon has previously banned conservative author Lauren Southern and commentator Brittany Pettibone.

Spencer believes his removal from Patreon is part of a larger trend.  He told Breitbart News "This seems to me to be all part of the general attempt to silence all dissenting voices and leave only Leftists speaking in the runup to the 2018 elections."

There are currently 60 defamation lawsuits pending against the SPLC.  Its reputation as an unbiased fighter of hate is in tatters.  Using any information from the SPLC is akin to a respectable newspaper using stories about an alien invasion from the Weekly World News. 

Spencer is deluding himself if he believes that after the midterms, things will return to normal.  This is the new normal online, and the right had better get used to it. 

Is MasterCard itself under pressure from another entity?  This is entirely possible.  Or it could simply be that Patreon was looking for an excuse to drop Spencer and is using MasterCard as cover.

What is extremely troubling – besides using the SPLC as a guide to hate – is the lack of explanation for what exactly Spencer did to get himself banned.  It's like the East German Stasi, the secret police.  To this day, there are families who were never told what happened to their loved ones when the Stasi whisked them away in the dead of night.

There is zero transparency, which leads to zero accountability.  You would hope Spencer would be able to find another platform for his work, but given the circumstances, it doesn't look promising.