Activists have forced Mastercard to call a vote at its upcoming June shareholder meeting that could result in the credit company refusing service to conservatives.
A plan promoted by liberal activist group SumOfUs called for Mastercard to add a “human rights committee” to prevent right wing individuals and groups from being able to access money donated to them from supporters via Mastercard. SumOfUs targeted people like British candidate and activist Tommy Robinson, whom BuzzFeed labeled an “anti-Islam activist.”
Buzzfeed reported SumOfUs is fighting against people and groups it deems hateful such by trying to get them financially blacklisted on social media and payment platforms such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Patreon and PayPal. Their goal is to “choke off donations.”
“Spreading hate involves spending money,” Eoin Dubsky of SumOfUs told BuzzFeed News. “Whether it’s paying for online advertising or organising violent rallies, white supremacist groups need financial services from companies like Mastercard.”
BuzzFeed said it received documents indicating Mastercard’s board and executives strongly oppose the creation of a “human rights committee” to determine service, but shareholders will be given the chance to vote on June 25.
According to BuzzFeed, Mastercard declined to comment, but referred it to materials for shareholders that said, “Mastercard is committed to treating all people fairly and with dignity, and our interest in human rights extends to all areas in which our business is involved and where we have particular expertise.”
It continued, “The Board does not believe that establishing a separate human rights committee is necessary to properly exercise its oversight of this important area.”
Much like deplatforming, financial blacklisting has successfully driven conservative commentators off the internet and to more desperate measures to support themselves.
Intellectual free speech YouTubers have shaped entirely new young movements of conservatives and others online. Carl Benjamin, better known for his YouTube channel Sargon of Akkad, was doing very well financially before the payment processing platform Patreon changed its own rules to justify deplatforming him.
While PayPal has denied services to some far-left groups who are openly violent, they have also deplatformed non-violent conservative activists like Laura Loomer. Performance artist and Rebel Media alumni Martina Markota was similarly financially blacklisted by Chase bank in late February.