For Richard Spencer, the nominal ideologue of the most recent iteration of white supremacy in America, there is only one platform that will allow him to continue his work. Known as MakerSupport, the site, according to Spencer, remains the last bastion for him to raise funds — and to regain the relevance he once knew.
“One of the other fundamental reasons why we’re on MakerSupport is that this is all we’ve got,” Spencer said in late February. “We have been de-platformed from all major payment systems and other payment platforms. We can’t use them — but we can use MakerSupport.”
In a sense, Spencer is correct. Blocked by sites like Patreon and GoFundMe, and with white supremacist fundraising sites like GoyFundMe and Hatreon down indefinitely, MakerSupport appears to be the final option for any number of white supremacists and far-right fellow travelers, processing their payments and allowing them to continue their work.
The site describes itself as a “platform for creators, by creators… We believe that creators of all stripes should be able to earn a living doing what they love!” MakerSupport limits fundraising to supposedly creative ventures, from podcasts to YouTube videos to “robotics projects,” and explicitly forbids users from raising money for “personal expenses.”
MakerSupport claims it is a “platform rooted in a belief that everyone should be able to earn a living doing what they love.” However, when the site first went live late last year, it pointed to the type of language white nationalists and far-right conspiracy theorists would recognize: “There is no viewpoint discrimination on MakerSupport.”
For good measure, MakerSupport even explicitly advertised that it took a “smaller cut” than other fundraising sites like Hatreon, itself an explicitly far-right fundraising site.
“Just want to express my thanks to all who have pledged to me here on MakerSupport,” wrote noted Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Brittany Pettibone.
Indeed, a quick glance through the types of clients MakerSupport has managed to attract points to the site’s demographic appeal. In addition to Spencer — whose National Policy Institute, if donations hold, would bring in nearly $10,000 annually via the site — MakerSupport also boasts fundraising campaigns for conspiracy theorists like Nicholas Fuentes, who attended last year’s white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, as well as Holocaust denier Peter Imanuelsen. The site additionally allows users to donate to white supremacist YouTube channels as well as something called “AltRightArt.”
Carl Benjamin, who goes by Sargon of Akkad, is currently on pace to raise roughly $15,000 per year on the site — despite the fact that he has been banned from Twitter and was recently temporarily suspended from YouTube. (MakerSupport “is retweets and hashtags away from being a superior product to Twitter,” Benjamin wrote.)
A campaign for white supremacist Chris Cantwell, the star of VICE’s 2017 documentary on Charlottesville, also remains on MakerSupport’s site, although Cantwell has claimed on his own site that MakerSupport barred his campaign from raising any funds.
Perhaps most notoriously, the site also allows users to support a pair of white nationalists recently barred from the United Kingdom. It’s unclear how much money Martin Sellner and Brittany Pettibone have been able to raise thus far, but Pettibone appears to be a recent figure on the site. Her first post came last Thursday, when she “express[ed] my thanks to all who have pledged to me here on MakerSupport. I’m deeply appreciative for your support, and I will try my best to post my content consistently here from now on.”
It remains unclear what Pettibone — who maintained an account on Hatreon, and who once described herself as “one of the leading authorities on Pizzagate” — will use the money for.
The maker of MakerSupport
According to his LinkedIn profile, Douglass is currently a student at Purdue University, and has worked as an intern at both Google and Apple. While ThinkProgress was unable to identify any other employees of MakerSupport, the Twitter feed for the site said that MakerSupport had “recently made [their] first hire to manage social media and support requests.”
We recently made our first hire to manage social media and support requests. I'm focused full-time on writing code.
Working on offering an API to some of our startup friends soon, and we'll be developing an app in the summer. Anyways, back to coding now. Cheers all!
— MakerSupport (@GoMakerSupport) March 6, 2018
Douglass did not respond to ThinkProgress’ request for comment, but the site’s Twitter feed provides insight into the types of clients MakerSupport hoped to attract. According to its Twitter account, MakerSupport was started when Lauren Southern — another far-right conspiracy theorist recently barred from the U.K. — “was kicked off of Patreon. It’d be amazing if she joined! Y’all should retweet this and reach out to her!”
I started MakerSupport when @Lauren_Southern was kicked off of Patreon. It'd be amazing if she joined!
Y'all should retweet this and reach out to her! https://t.co/fiDzCGZVdQ
— MakerSupport (@GoMakerSupport) December 12, 2017
Another video MakerSupport shared featured Southern complaining that other sites blocking her had “essentially eviscerate[ed] the majority of [her] income.”
Wrote MakerSupport, “Hate speech? Sounds like free speech to me.”
— MakerSupport (@GoMakerSupport) October 26, 2017
And in another tweet, MakerSupport wrote that “2018 will be the year in which alt-tech” — a reference to a series of sites that comprise, as Wired wrote, “the alt-right’s vision of the internet” — “returns freedom back to the people!” Spencer and his fellow white supremacists can only hope that’s the case.