GiveSendGo

GiveSendGo
Type of site
Charity
Available in18 languages
URLgivesendgo.com
RegistrationOptional
Current statusOnline

GiveSendGo is a Christian crowdfunding website. It has attracted controversy for facilitating the funding of far-right, neo-Nazi, alt-right, and white supremacist activists and hate groups.

The website was founded in 2014 to fundraise "for missionary trips, medical expenses for needy families, and other charitable causes," and because the founders perceived GoFundMe to have an anti-Christian bias. GiveSendGo gained prominence after GoFundMe took down several controversial campaigns that it claimed violated its terms of service, in particular for Kyle Rittenhouse, rioters who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, and the Canada convoy protest.

In January 2022, the British anti-disinformation organization Logically reported that GiveSendGo was the hub for a far-right funding network that included QAnon supporters, anti-vaccine activists and the far-right group Project Veritas.

History

In April 2021 and February 2022, Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDoSecrets) made donor information from GiveSendGo available to journalists and researchers. The information identified previously anonymous high-dollar donors to far-right actors including members of the Proud Boys, many of whose fundraising efforts were directly related to the 2021 United States Capitol attack. The platform had previously been criticized for its refusal to restrict use by far-right extremists. The leaks also revealed that police officers and public officials in the United States had donated to Kyle Rittenhouse. In May 2021, USA Today used the GiveSendGo data to report that nearly $100,000 was raised for the Proud Boys on GiveSendGo from people of Chinese descent in the days before the 2021 Capitol attack. The following month, they used the data to report that a member of the Koch family had anonymously donated to a crowdfunding campaign supporting 2020 election fraud conspiracy theories.

A January 2023 report by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) stated that GiveSendGo had hosted 230 fundraising campaigns tied to extremist groups and causes. The ADL described GiveSendGo as "a singularly important part of the extremist fundraising ecosystem" that enabled extremist groups to raise $5.4 million since 2016.

Kyle Rittenhouse

A GiveSendGo campaign for Kyle Rittenhouse raised over $250,000, while similar campaigns on GoFundMe and Fundly were removed. In response, Discover blocked transactions toward GiveSendGo. It was the Kyle Rittenhouse campaign that is cited as the event that gave GiveSendGo its reputation as a refuge for campaigns too controversial for other crowdfunding sites. The leak published by DDoSecrets also revealed that police officers and public officials in the United States had donated to Rittenhouse.

2021 United States Capitol attack

PayPal suspended payments to GiveSendGo because it was raising funds for people who had participated in the 2021 United States Capitol attack. As of April 2022, the site had helped rioters raise over $3.5 million.

Canadian convoy protests 2022

givesendgone.wtf
The hacked GiveSendGo website, which contained a data dump with personal information of donors

In early February 2022, supporters of the trucker convoy occupying Ottawa, the Canadian capital, and blocking border crossings between Canada and the U.S. to protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions, raised over $8 million on the GiveSendGo platform.

On February 10, 2022, a statement was issued by Ontario's premier, Doug Ford, stating that the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, upon request from the Ontario provincial Government, has granted a restraining order against the company, intended to freeze all donations raised for the protesters. The GiveSendGo founders responded on Twitter that any funds raised via GiveSendGo flow directly to the campaign recipients, denied that the funds are actually frozen, and denied that Canada has jurisdiction over GiveSendGo management.

During parliamentary questioning in March 2022, co-founder Jacob Wells stated that GiveSendGo would permit the Ku Klux Klan and the Proud Boys to fundraise on their website, provided the activity was legal. Since February 2021, the Proud Boys have been designated as a terrorist group by the Canadian government.

Data security

In February 2022, after many anonymous donors supported the 2022 Freedom Convoy, DDoSecrets began providing journalists and researchers with a hacked list of donors' personal information from GiveSendGo. Later that month, GiveSendGo was hacked again, exposing donors for every campaign in the site's history, which DDoSecrets gave to journalists and researchers.

A report by TechCrunch on February 8, 2022 noted that a security lapse had exposed the personal information of donors.

On the early morning of February 11, 2022, the GiveSendGo website was hacked and redirected to givesendgone.wtf, which displayed a message condemning the website, the Freedom Convoy, and their sympathizers as a threat to democracy. A video from the Disney film Frozen II was set as a backdrop to the statement calling the donors and protesters "hatriots", "grifters", and "assholes" and focusing on scenarios of domestic or foreign influenced insurgencies disguised as protests.

A link to a .csv file, allegedly containing names of Freedom Convoy donors, was also posted. Shortly after the hack was noticed and began trending on the social media, the website domain was restored. The GiveSendGo website was not operational as of February 14, instead, displaying the message "Application is under maintenance we will be back very soon."

A data breach on February 13, 2022 was reported by Vice News. The breach revealed the personal details of 92,845 donors to the Freedom Convoy fundraising campaign, including a $90,000 donation by American software billionaire Thomas Siebel. Of the 92,845 donations, 55.7% of donors were from the United States, and 39% from Canada. Some of the American donors' names correspond to the names of donors to Donald Trump's campaigns. Some members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) were revealed to have donated to the convoy on GiveSendGo, prompting the OPP to launch an internal conduct investigation.

A data breach on February 15, 2022 was reported by The Daily Dot. The data included a full database dump, source code for their Bitbucket repo, information from their customer service systems and some credit card information. The Daily Dot claimed GiveSendGo had been warned about the vulnerability in 2018.

On February 24, 2022, another data breach was reported by The Daily Dot. The data included more information on donors to the Freedom Convoy fundraiser.

Convoy to Canberra

The Convoy to Canberra anti-vaccine mandate protest in Australia was organized on GiveSendGo, among other platforms.


This page was last updated at 2023-12-27 21:08 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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