Crowdfunding platform GoFundMe says it has raised more than $800,000 for the victims of violence stemming from the Charlottesville, Virginia rally this past weekend, according to The Washington Post. The money has been raised for the medical expenses of counter-protestors who were injured by white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and other hate groups who were marching in the “Unite the Right” event dedicated to preserving a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The rally resulted in the death of one woman, Heather Heyer, and injuries to dozens of other counter-protestors.
One victim, 46-year-old Tyler Magill, suffered a stroke as a result of a physical attack from a white nationalist participate and is expected to need speech therapy and other forms of physical rehabilitation. GoFundMe says more than 2,600 donors contributed $100,000 to Magill’s campaign in just a single day. “We’re privileged to see how generous the GoFundMe community is each and every day,” GoFundMe CEO Rob Solomon told The Washington Post. “When tragedy strikes, they are ready to open their hearts — and their wallets — to people in need.”
GoFundMe has taken a strong stance against the hate groups present at the Charlottesville rally, banning a crowdfunding campaign for accused killer James Alex Fields Jr., who rammed a Dodge Charger into a counter-protestor crowd on Saturday, killing Heyer and injuring nearly two dozen others. “Following the horrific attack in Charlottesville, we removed multiple campaigns for James Fields, and we will continue to do so if other campaigns are created,” Solomon said. “Those campaigns did not raise any money, and they were immediately removed.”
GoFundMe is just one of many platform-owning companies that have issued bans to white supremacist and other hate organizations in the aftermath of Charlottesville. Facebook, Uber, Twitter, Airbnb, GoDaddy, and numerous other companies have either released statements, banned users, or done both in order to take a stand against organizations whose online activities have directly translated to physical threats and real-world violence. This activity marks a notable shift in how tech companies, especially those who operate communication platforms with strong commitments to speech, deal with groups and ideas now indisputable entangled with murder.