Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (R) said on Fox News on Sunday that she, along with the approval of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R), will investigate GoFundMe, one of the largest fundraising platforms in the world.
GoFundMe pulled the fundraising page that supported the Canadian Convoy whose participants are expressing their displeasure with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s COVID mandates.
“Think about what occurred here,” Moody said. “You have a business that essentially makes money off people, out of the goodness of their hearts, wanting to contribute to a cause that’s important to them. You have a big business that encourages that. They take a percentage. They make money when folks raise money through their platform. And then, without any notice to anyone, and no donor knows this before they make a contribution, they’re going to make some political judgment that they think this isn’t a worthy cause anymore, and just shut down after raising millions of dollars.”
Moody said DeSantis was right to say they would not tolerate GoFundMe’s actions.
“That’s why Governor DeSantis is so effective and timely and saying ‘Look, we’re not going to put up with this hypocritical nonsense by big business.’ And what he does effectively is call that out,” Moody said.
Our @GovRonDeSantis was completely right in calling-out GoFundMe's nonsense! In Florida, we'll always fight to PROTECT your freedom!
— AG Ashley Moody (@AGAshleyMoody) February 6, 2022
Over the weekend, DeSantis tweeted his support for the supporters of the Canadian Convoy who lost their money after GoFundMe pulled the page, and will be seeking to give the donors a refund.
“It is a fraud for @gofundme to commandeer $9 million in donations sent to support truckers and give it to causes of their own choosing,” DeSantis said. “I will work with @AGAshleyMoody to investigate these deceptive practices — these donors should be given a refund.”
It is a fraud for @gofundme to commandeer $9M in donations sent to support truckers and give it to causes of their own choosing.
I will work with @AGAshleyMoody to investigate these deceptive practices — these donors should be given a refund.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 5, 2022
It is unclear what specific actions Florida’s officials could make, but GoFundMe has signaled they would be issuing refunds after public backlash, including from DeSantis and Moody.
“To simplify the process for our users, we will be refunding all donations to the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser,” GoFundMe said on Twitter. “This refund will happen automatically — you do not need to submit a request. Donors can expect to see refunds within 7-10 business days.”
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.
— GoFundMe (@gofundme) February 5, 2022
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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at The Florida Capital Star and The Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.
Photo “Ron DeSantis” by Ron DeSantis and photo “Ashley Moody” by Ashley Moody.