Pando

Indiegogo allows crowdfunder for Officer Michael Slager, accused of murdering unarmed black man

By Nathaniel Mott , written on April 8, 2015

From The News Desk

As we've reported previously, Indiegogo is already the premier crowdfunding site for scammers, liars, and people who want to raise a little bit of money for ridiculous-but-unfunny jokes. But now it might also be about to replace GoFundMe as the platform of choice for bigots.

Earlier this week I joked that GoFundMe should change its tagline from "crowdfunding for everyone!" to "We don’t care who you hate, as long as a lot of other people with deep pockets hate them too!" because of some recent projects. There's the Indiana pizzeria that raised more than $842,000 after it said it wouldn't cater to same-sex weddings. There's the Washington florist who's raised more than $150,000 for refusing to provide flowers for -- you guessed it -- another same-sex wedding. Plus there's the campaign for Darren Wilson.

GoFundMe has found some campaigns it's not willing to support, however. Most of them were shuttered after raising just a few thousand dollars, leading Pando's David Holmes to guess there's some financial motivation for leaving others up.

But there's one that wasn't allowed onto the service at all: an effort to raise a legal defense fund for Michael Slager, the South Carolina police officer who killed a fleeing, unarmed black man by shooting him from behind eight times.

Step forward, Indiegogo.

A Twitter account for the fund claims that GoFundMe "rejected our campaign to support Offc Mike Slager," forcing them to create an Indiegogo page on April 7. At the time of writing, the Indiegogo page set up for the fund remains live. It is shown as using Indiegogo's "flexible funding" option meaning that all money raised will go to the fundraiser even if it fails to meet its $5000 target.

The campaign page reads:

We're campaigning to show our Support for Officer Michael T. Slager! We believe in all of our LEOs and want to publicly support them! Although he may have made mis-steps in judgement he was protecting the community.
And, a short while ago, the organizer added this update:
I've seen many negative reactions to this fund raiser but remember, Ofc Michael Slager deserves a competent defense no matter what the court of popular opinion says about his actions. This is still America.
It's not clear why GoFundMe rejected the campaign for Slager even though it allowed people to donate more than $235,000 to a similar campaign for Wilson. (Perhaps the existence of a video showing Slager shooting the clearly unarmed man in the back -- and perhaps planting evidence afterwards -- had some effect.)

But the fact that Indiegogo has allowed this campaign onto its platform, even though it's only raised $10 at time of writing (update: the total had jumped to $60 by the time we published), is astounding. Apparently letting scammers use its platform wasn't enough; the bigots had to be let in, too.

I've contacted Indiegogo for comment but haven't heard back yet. I'll update this article if I do. 

Update: Indiegogo responds...

Indiegogo allows anyone, anywhere to fund ideas that matter to them and just like other open platforms -- such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter -- we don’t judge the content of campaigns as long as they are in compliance with our Terms of Use.