If you have been living under a rock or simply wrapped up in Christmas and the New Year (like me), you might have missed the Patreon Purge. I was completely unaware of it until a video popped up on YouTube. In the video (below), Jordan Peterson and Dave Rubin were explaining why they were leaving Patreon on January 14.
This led me looking further into what has happened.
In short, Patreon’s “Trust and Safety Committee” has removed the accounts of people who they deemed “unacceptable” for any number of reasons that seem to be constantly changing and as easy to nail down as Jello. One person who was removed is the somewhat controversial YouTuber named Sargon of Akkad.
This article gives a brief overview of what has been happening:
So these people have basically been cut off from a significant portion of their income. Some of them voluntarily and some of them against their will.
Whatever the motivation, this seems to have been a deliberate crack down on free speech.
An even greater issue has arisen because many people who are supported on Patreon and have ZERO political activity have also lost numerous supporters. As word got out that Patreon was deplatforming (purging) certain people, donors completely deleted their Patreon accounts. Many donors supported more than one creative on Patreon so there were many “innocent bystanders” who were caught in the fray.
Furthermore, one of the men who was removed from Patreon was apparently chased down to ANOTHER donor platform where he went after Patreon. Not only did people go after him, they went after the platform thereby hurting MORE innocent bystanders who had nothing to do with it and had been peacefully using the platform to support their creative endeavors.
What is interesting is that the response from this attack on free speech has not been just from conservatives. There is a wide cross-section of people who are calling out Patreon and leaving Patreon. As the above article stated, Sam Harris (a liberal and Hillary Clinton supporter) was one of the top accounts on Patreon with his podcasts making between $23,000 and $65,000 per episode. But he left almost immediately as a matter of principle, even though he was not necessarily in agreement philosophically and politically with the people who were booted from Patreon.
And who can blame him? He may be a liberal and safe today, but what happens when the Patreon “Trust and Safety Committee” decides to come after him for some reason?
Here is some information to help make you aware of what is going on.
This is what Jack Conte, CEO of Patreon, said on Dave Rubin’s show a year ago about deleting accounts. (Apparently something changed between then and now.)
Sargon of Aakad explains his perspective and the background of what happened.
Matt Christiansen, another prominent Patreon user, explains his interaction with a prominent Patreon employee while trying to get answers.
More insight and fallout from Tim Fall
Dave Rubin and Jordan Peterson explain why they are leaving Patreon and their endeavor to help create other options for free speech.