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Activists Are Trying To Force Mastercard To Cut Off Payments To The Far Right

Activists Are Trying To Force Mastercard To Cut Off Payments To The Far Right

Postby smix » Fri May 10, 2019 11:34 am

Activists Are Trying To Force Mastercard To Cut Off Payments To The Far Right
BuzzFeed News

URL: https://www.buzzfeed.com/markdistefano/ ... -far-right
Category: Politics
Published: May 1, 2019

Description: The payment giant’s shareholders will vote on a proposal to set up a “human rights committee” at the company to monitor money flowing to hate groups.
Activists have successfully forced Mastercard to hold a vote by shareholders on a proposal which, if passed, could see the company monitoring payments to global far-right political leaders and white supremacist groups. The proposal aims to see Mastercard establish an internal “human rights committee” that would stop designated white supremacist groups and anti-Islam activists, such as Tommy Robinson, from getting access to money sent from donors using the company’s card payment services. It’s been conceived by US-based political activists SumOfUs, who want to escalate the battle against white supremacists and far-right groups from tech platforms like Facebook, Google, Twitter, Patreon, and PayPal to one of the biggest companies in world finance, in an attempt to choke off donations. Robinson and several other leading figures in the global far right have been forced in recent months to solicit donations directly on their websites via Mastercard, Visa, and American Express after PayPal banned payments to them. Facebook also disabled the donation function on Robinson’s fan page before deleting it completely. “Spreading hate involves spending money,” Eoin Dubsky, from 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.” Over several months, SumOfUs has been locked in a battle with Mastercard executives behind the scenes in order to get the new committee proposal put to the shareholders ahead of the company’s June annual general meeting. It would see the formation of a “human rights committee” at the board level, which would monitor financial transactions with designated hate groups. Documents seen by BuzzFeed News reveal that the US Securities and Exchange Commission has given the green light for shareholders to get the chance to vote on the formation of the committee, despite staunch opposition from the Mastercard board and executives. In the material to be sent to shareholders, the activists refer to a website called Blood Money, which tracks online payments to white supremacist groups from the likes of Mastercard, American Express, and Stripe. The website currently claims that Mastercard services are being used by groups like Counter-Currents Publishing, Covenant People’s Ministry, the United West, Sultan Knish, and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation. SumOfUs has also pointed to the activity of Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon. The former English Defence League founder is running as an independent in May’s European election. In November 2018, PayPal banned donations to the anti-Islam activist, with the online payment company saying that its services wouldn’t “be used to promote hate, violence, or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory”. More recently, Robinson has been calling on his global network of supporters to donate to his election campaign through his website, which allows payments from Mastercard. “Having a Mastercard logo on their website also gives these groups a veneer of legitimacy, and allows those who want to donate to do so quickly and quietly,” Dubsky told BuzzFeed News. “Mastercard also benefits, pocketing a transaction fee for each purchase or donation.” Mastercard declined requests for comment, pointing instead to the board’s position laid out in the information sent to shareholders ahead of the general meeting. “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 reads. “The Board does not believe that establishing a separate human rights committee is necessary to properly exercise its oversight of this important area.” It’s unclear whether the proposal stands a chance of succeeding at June’s meeting. But the move to confront such a big, mainstream company like Mastercard over issues like the funding of white supremacy and the far right comes after action from smaller, online financial platforms like PayPal and Patreon in the area. PayPal has banned payments to Robinson, US far-right group Proud Boys, and Canadian anti-Islam activist Laura Loomer. It also acted against several US anti-fascist groups because the company had no tolerance for groups that promoted “hate” and “violence”. Last year, Patreon banned YouTuber Sargon of Akkad over a 2015 video that featured the Gamergate leader repeatedly saying the n-word in a Google Hangout with the alt-right. According to the New York Times, Sargon of Akkad, whose real name is Carl Benjamin, had 3,000 subscribers and was being paid $12,000 a month on Patreon when he was removed from the site. In a recent YouTube video, Benjamin and Robinson talked about being de-platformed by social media companies. But Robinson also suggested that he has long-term fears beyond the big tech companies. “I am being completely un-personed,” Robinson said. “What’s next—my mobile-phone contract?”
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Forget Facebook, They Want to Revoke Your Access to Banking

Postby smix » Fri May 10, 2019 12:13 pm

Forget Facebook, They Want to Revoke Your Access to Banking
Summit News

URL: https://summit.news/2019/05/06/forget-f ... o-banking/
Category: Politics
Published: May 6, 2019

Description: Social media deplatforming is only the beginning; The ultimate social credit score nightmare is coming.
The biggest threat that social media censorship poses is not you being unable to access Facebook or Twitter, it’s you not being able to get a mortgage or have a bank account. The end result of Big Tech silencing conservative voices is banks and corporations removing your access to the marketplace and severely restricting your basic right to buy and sell. We have already seen numerous instances of people being deplatformed by BANKS for the political opinions, from Mastercard telling Patreon to remove Robert Spencer’s account, to Martina Markota and Enrique Tarrio having services terminated by Chase Bank over their support for Trump. Mastercard also recently indicated that it would hold a vote on whether to cut off payments to “global far-right political leaders”. But this will extend to everyone. Mastercard will ‘monitor’ your financial activity for indications of dissident behavior. That’s chilling. Before Infowars was banned by Paypal and numerous other payment processors last year, despite having an impeccable credit score, the company was slapped with a designation akin to having ties to terrorism, making banks averse to doing any business with Infowars. Payment processors and banks are now using similar ‘dangerous person’ designations as Facebook and other Big Tech outfits to not only deplatform, but to designate a person an “extremist” for life. I was banned by Facebook under the same designation which bans users from the platform who engage in the following behavior;
– Terrorist activity
– Organised hate
– Mass or serial murder
– Human trafficking
– Organised violence or criminal activity
Once marked as an “extremist,” this designation is then intended to apply to every other area of your life. This is the ultimate nightmare scenario – a Communist Chinese-style social credit system where you will be denied banking, loans and given poor credit rating if you associate with people or espouse views deemed “dangerous” by the establishment, which at this point is anything that counters their narrative. Facebook already announced it will ban people merely for mentioning people like Alex Jones or Gavin McInnes or sharing their content without simultaneously denouncing it. In the near future, AI will make this process instantaneous. Let that sink in. A giant corporation which controls the new public square is telling its 2.3 billion users what political opinions they must hold in order to be allowed to have free expression. This is nothing less than one giant digital re-education camp. The Paypal ban against Infowars was handed down just weeks after George Soros-funded group Right Wing Watch published an article demanding that PayPal terminate its agreement with Infowars for “egregious violations of the platform’s own terms of service.” With PayPal now buying up global credit card payment processors and moving into conventional banking, we are approaching a time when a handful of corporations will control all banking just as a handful of Silicon Valley giants now control free speech. What about Bitcoin as an alternative? Facebook is now moving into cryptocurrencies. Imagine a day when Facebook controls virtually all online payment mechanisms but you’re banned from using them because you posted a spicy meme or spoke out against mass immigration. All of this will only be exaserbated by the fact that we are moving towards a cashless society where hard currency is eliminated. You will be forced to use a credit card and you will only be able to have access to a credit card if your social credit score is good enough. Banned by Facebook? Punished for sharing an “offensive” opinion on Twitter? Now you’re an “extremist”. Now your social credit score has collapsed. Now your bank informs you services have been terminated. Good luck dumpster diving for tonight’s dinner. Unless we stop this now, unless Trump takes executive action to halt corporations being able to refuse service based on political beliefs, not only will you be silenced, your life will become a living hell. So you can live without Facebook or Instagram. Imagine trying to live without access to a loan for a car, a mortgage for a house or a bank account period. They don’t just want you silenced, they want you destitute. They want you broke and homeless. They want total compliance and obedience under threat of the complete ruination of your life.
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Financial Blacklisting: Activists Pressure Mastercard Stockholders to Censor ‘Far Right’

Postby smix » Sat May 11, 2019 9:00 am

Financial Blacklisting: Activists Pressure Mastercard Stockholders to Censor ‘Far Right’
Breitbart News

URL: https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2019/05/ ... far-right/
Category: Politics
Published: May 1, 2019

Description: Left-wing activists have forced Mastercard to hold a shareholder vote on the creation of a “human rights committee” that would monitor payments to the “far right,” with a view to cut off disfavored individuals and political groups from receiving money from supporters. BuzzFeed reports that the proposed Mastercard human rights committee would “stop designated white supremacist groups and anti-Islam activists, such as Tommy Robinson, from getting access to money sent from donors using the company’s card payment services.” The Board of Mastercard has opposed the proposal, urging stockholders to vote against it. The proposal was submitted for a vote at Mastercard’s upcoming meeting of stockholders on June 25, 2019. The proposal was submitted by left-wing advocacy organization ThisIsUs, whose board members are linked to Color of Change, a group that has been pressuring banks, payment processors, and credit card companies to cut off service to right-wingers, Islam critics, and critics of progressivism. In its supporting statement, ThisIsUs wrote:
Companies can face risks related to human rights even when they only perform support functions. Internet infrastructure companies like web host GoDaddy, social media platform Facebook and payments firm PayPal have come under pressure for doing business with or providing a forum for neo-Nazis and other hate groups. Mastercard has received negative publicity for processing of payments to white supremacist groups. “Organizers Catch Credit Card Companies Profiting From White Supremacy: Online payment companies are complicit in authorizing transactions related to hate groups,” AlterNet, August 22, 2017; and “Color Of Change Is Attacking Hate Groups At The Source: Their Funding,” Fast Company, August 21, 2017. According to the website bloodmoney.org (accessed on December 18, 2018), Mastercard continues to process payments for organizations such as American Border Patrol, League of the South, Proud Boys and Stormfront.

In response, the board of Mastercard recommended that stockholders vote against the proposal, stating that the company operates on the principle that consumers should be able to make “all lawful purchases.”
The Proposal focuses on the use of our products by certain organizations. We operate our network on the principle that consumers should be able to make all lawful purchases, and our franchise rules ensure compliance with the laws pertaining to the acceptable use of our payment processing services by merchants, acquirers and issuers. We regularly monitor activities involving our products and services for any alleged illegal use. When we process payment transactions, we do not have visibility into goods that are purchased or the use of those goods. When we are made aware of illegal activity or rules violations, we work closely with law enforcement and acquirers to shut down those activities. Accordingly, because Mastercard has a committee with oversight over issues of corporate social responsibility and has disclosed its commitment to and oversight of human rights issues, the Board does not believe that establishing a separate human rights committee is necessary to properly exercise its oversight of this important area, nor does it add to Mastercard’s existing commitment to social responsibility and human rights.Therefore, our Board recommends that our stockholders vote AGAINST this joint proposal.

Although Mastercard’s board says it is committed to the principle of allowing “all lawful purchases,” online payments platform Patreon says that Mastercard asked it to withdraw service from Islam critic Robert Spencer, founder of JihadWatch.org, in August 2018. Mastercard has yet to respond to a Breitbart News inquiry into why, if Patreon’s allegation is true, the company used its influence to cut off Spencer.



Financial Blacklisting: Sleeping Giants and Soros-Backed Group Pressure Mastercard to Censor the Right
Breitbart News

URL: https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2019/06/ ... the-right/
Category: Politics
Published: June 25, 2019

Description: A coalition of far-left political activist organizations known for peddling smears about conservatives held a protest at Mastercard’s annual general meeting (AGM) today, aiming to pressure the international credit card giant to financially blacklist wider sections of the political right. The groups’ proposal to form a “human rights committee” did not sway shareholders, who voted the measure down. At Mastercard’s AGM this morning, the far-left groups SumOfUs and Sleeping Giants circled the venue with a mobile billboard stating: “Putting hate groups out of business? #Priceless.” According to a press release published by the two organizations, this was coupled with a speech from Sleeping Giants co-founder Nandini Jammi, “addressing the need for Mastercard to take swift action by cutting off its services to these hate groups.” Sleeping Giants, whose founders initially refused to take accountability for the organization’s words and actions by remaining anonymous, was set up in 2016 by far-left political activists with the sole stated purpose of defunding Breitbart by spreading lies about it. The identity of its other founder, former advertising professional Matt Rivitz, was revealed last year. Sleeping Giants coupled these smears with targeted social media harassment campaigns against corporations whose ads appeared on Breitbart News. Over time, Sleeping Giants expanded its targets to encompass any conservative media with which its organizers politically disagree, including Fox News shows like Tucker Carlson Tonight, The Daily Caller, Dennis Prager, and the Daily Wire. SumOfUs is purportedly a “human rights” activist group that now campaigns to make speech with which it politically disagrees unprofitable. Its website lists a number of powerful left-wing foundations among its partners, including George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, the Tides Foundation, the Media Democracy Fund, and the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation. Earlier this year, SumOfUs presented a proposal to Mastercard’s shareholders, calling on the company to establish a “human rights committee” that would monitor payments to the “far right.” The protest aimed to pressure Mastercard to accept the proposal. Shareholders voted down the proposal this morning, despite the protest. “Over the past few years, the rise of the far-right has wreaked havoc around the world, terrorizing and harming marginalized groups,” wrote SumOfUs in its press release. Although Mastercard’s board says it is committed to the principle of allowing “all lawful purchases,” online payments platform Patreon says that Mastercard asked it to withdraw service from Islam critic Robert Spencer, founder of JihadWatch.org, in August 2018. Mastercard also pressured a payment processor to cut off service to conservative activist, think tank founder and author David Horowitz last year, but later the processor reinstated service following pressure from Breitbart News and other conservative media. As left-wing political activist groups have pressured social media companies to blacklist their political rivals, they are also intent on destroying the ability of the political right to do business on the Internet. The rise of financial blacklisting has been a trend in recent years, with repeated instances online payment processors and funding platforms cutting off their services to right-wingers and conservatives. Even liberal groups have sounded the alarm about this trend. In July last year, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) warned that banks, credit card companies and payment processors are becoming “de facto internet censors.” “EFF is deeply concerned that payment processors are making choices about which websites can and can’t accept payments or process donations,” an EFF spokeswoman told Breitbart News at the time. Combined with corporate-controlled cryptocurrencies like Facebook’s “Libra” coin, Corporate America increasingly references the rise of a “cashless society.” The CEO of Bank of America recently stated that he supports the trend, “from a pure operating cost [perspective]” as it would allow the bank to spend less on moving checks and cash around the company. But beyond this relatively benign motivation, a “cashless society” would also allow a handful of corporations to control access to the financial system — and potentially cut if off from those deemed politically or socially undesirable. This is precisely the kind of financial blacklisting that Sleeping Giants loudly demands from Mastercard.
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