A year ago Patreon had decided to deplatform Carl Benjamin (Sargon of Akkad), a famous British Youtube commentator and member of the ‘Intellectual Dark Web’, citing ‘hate speech’ as a reason for banning him (even tho the act that he had committed was on a different platform and a channel that doesn’t belong to him). Many other famous Youtubers and IDW intellectuals like Jordan Peterson, Sam Harris, and Tim Pool started to mass-exit the platform as a protest against Patreon’s new hate speech policies.
Patreon had also banned the comedian Owen Benjamin for hate speech without giving him a warning in advance. He decided to file arbitration claims against Patreon and encourage his patreons to do so as well. Their argument was that through its subscription service, he and his contributors had signed a contract together, and by deplatforming him, Patreon had acted as a third-party and interfered with this agreement.
This resulted in Patreon changing its terms of service “in a way that’s illegal under California law” at the last moment after it realized that these claims could cost up to $10,000 per claim. The court refused to take these changes into account which left Patreon with one last option and it is to file 72 lawsuits against each one of them. Guess what, Patreon has lost!
It’s now obligated "to pay upfront filing fees on each of the 72 individual arbitration claims within 30 days of the due date on the invoice. These fees can be upwards of $10,000 per arbitration. Patreon will also have to pay further legal fees and have a rolling obligation to pay them within 30 days. Lawyer, commentator, and producer Mike Cernovich has predicted that these fees could be as high as $20 million"
I’m not a lawyer or a legal expert so please refer to this article instead.
Even if Patreon manages to pay all of the estimated amounts, more and more people will follow suit. Sargon of Akkad has hundreds of pateons that are ready to file arbitration actions and take down the company. In his latest stream, Carl Benjamin sent a very powerful message to the CEO of Patreon, Jack Conte, titled: It’s not about the money.
Although this will sadly cut the revenue stream of tens of thousands of content creators which will certainly be a tragic event in the short run, one has to see the opportunity that will come out of it. First of all, this will send a warning message to Silicon Vally giants and make them think twice before deplatforming their users based on their political views. But most importantly, It will create a void in content monetization that can only be filled by Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Platforms such as bitpatron.co and landing.cointr.ee allow content creators to receive donations and subscription fees from their fans without the large cut these traditional platforms take. I personally think that this is going to be a net-positive for content creators because their fans will always find a way to support them and now they will get exposed to more options.
Lastly, whoever minted the saying “Get woke, go broke” must’ve been a genius!