Another three prominent far-right figures have been banned from the online fundraising site PayPal and are now scrambling to find new ways of cashing in on their bigotry.
The latest crackdown started with Red Ice, an “alternative” media company which regularly traffics in far-right tropes like how multiculturalism is destroying Europe, how diversity is code for making whites a minority, and how Hollywood is holding Western culture hostage. The channel is run by Lana Lokteff and her husband Henrik Palmgren, and claims to be based in “Sweden and the US.”
In a video uploaded last week and flagged by angrywhitemen.org — a blog which monitors the far-right — Palmgren explained how being blocked by Paypal left their Red Ice project floundering. “PayPal has limited our ability to accept new payments and we are basically in a situation where Red Ice is currently dead in the water,” Lokteff said. “Without your help we’re not gonna be able to continue this project.”
Lokteff was apparently dumbfounded by Pay Pal’s decision. “We’re not foul-mouthed, we don’t hate anybody. [and] we don’t express violence,” she said, failing to mention that among others, Red Ice had previously held an hour-long interview with Jared Taylor, one of America’s oldest and most prominent white nationalists.
But Red Ice wasn’t the only far-right account de-platformed. Faith Goldy, a former reporter for the far-right Rebel Media, and now noted white supremacist, was also banned. Goldy then migrated over to the funding site FreeStartr, which was promptly de-platformed itself by its payment processors PayPal and Stripe for supporting white nationalist causes.
“[It’s] effectively knocked me down at the knees,” she said on Periscope. “[PayPal] was where the majority of my income for my independent journalism and commentary happened.”
Ever since the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally last August, far-right figures have found it increasingly difficult to spread their message and raise funds online in the way that made them rise in prominence in the immediate aftermath of the 2016 election.
The best example here is Richard Spencer, who has been booted from Facebook, watched his fundraising efforts on two separate websites get de-platformed, and has had his whole far-right website shut down. Spencer’s in such dire financial straights that in May his credit card was declined over a $4.25 shot of bourbon.
The issue has trickled down to smaller far-right groups as well. The far-right group Identity Evropa said on Gab that payment de-platforming was one of the most pressing issues they face, and asked for supporters to start sending them checks, money orders or cash.
However, some are still finding ways to get around the de-platforming. As ThinkProgress has previously reported, two prominent white supremacists have being using a law firm in California to raise money for them via PayPal. Despite Zyniker Law being a spare, one-man operation — and the money being able to go towards supporting far-right “activism” — it still counts for PayPal as “legal defense,” and therefore does not violate policy.