Patreon Bars Anti-Feminist for Racist Speech, Inciting Revo…


Mr. Benjamin did not respond to attempts to engage him in the reform process, Ms. Hart said.

“His response to us when we told him about the reform process was to nitpick and say, ‘I was being anti-Nazi,’” Ms. Hart said. “You cannot say those words on our platform. It doesn’t matter who you’re directing them at.”

His removal from Patreon immediately stirred up others on the site.

“I think the most likely outcome, if this continues, is that all contentious speech or behavior will put the speaker or actor at risk of serious financial and social sanctions, and strip them of all defense,” Mr. Peterson wrote in an email.

Mr. Rubin, the libertarian podcaster, tweeted, “The Platform War has begun.”

Mr. Rubin and Mr. Peterson said they plan to start their own version of Patreon, which will be less censorious. Mr. Peterson said his Patreon subscriptions had dropped to around 7,500, from about 10,000 over the summer, according to Graphtreon.

It’s unclear how effective Mr. Peterson’s and Mr. Rubin’s efforts will be. Alternatives to mainstream sites, such as the white supremacy-oriented Hatreon, have largely been failures.

And while many internet creators argue that Silicon Valley is trying to censor free speech, what the companies are doing is legal, said Vera Eidelman, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s speech, privacy and technology project. “The First Amendment right is on the side of the company,” she said.

Those quitting Patreon in solidarity with Mr. Benjamin may have other motives behind their sudden outrage, Mr. Conte said. As content creators using the site grow more famous and their income more significant, the 5 percent cut that Patreon takes of their donations may have begun to seem cumbersome, he said. Other large creators are joining the rebellion.

“You can use a press debacle like this to drum up your community and rile people up and get them to support a cause,” Mr. Conte said. “We welcome competition.”

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