Australia

Patreon bans controversial (and broke) far-right activist Milo Yiannopoulos

Controversial far-right activist Milo Yiannopoulos has had a tough two years. He's been banned from Twitter, had to resign from Breitbart, lost his $250,000 book deal, he had to let go of staff from his company and this week announced he was broke.

The nail in the coffin came when he was banned from community crowdfunding website Patreon, which lets people pay a certain amount of money per month to support their favourite creators and artists.

Yiannopoulos reportedly wrote on his Patreon page "Support Milo's Glorious Comeback" (which has since been taken down):

"I've had a miserable year or two, banned and de-platformed and censored and blacklisted … and now I need your help. I want to get back on my feet and come roaring back in 2019.

"I am one of the most censored and most lied-about people in the world. Even my fans sometimes believe things about me that aren't true, because journalists lie more about me than perhaps anyone else in America."

Among other things, the money raised on Patreon was intended to fund "the greatest TV show in history".

How much was he asking for?

An archived version of Yiannopoulos's original post on Patreon detailed what donors would get for their money.

Patreons could select the level of financial support they want. Those levels included:

  • $2.50 a month would let you become "a foot soldier in the revolution"
  • $25 a month gets you 10 per cent off all merchandise forever, plus "free Milo ringtones and SMS alert pack"
  • And $100 a month gets you all the above, plus a personalised thank-you message, "elites-only" private email updates, a coffee mug and an invitation to drinks when Milo is in your city (he's buying)

The price packs range all the way up to $750 which, amongst a range of random offerings, gets you a call from Milo on your birthday, a poster of him, a recorded voicemail greeting by Milo and dinner with him once a year.

It may or may not be your cup of tea, but feel free to read the full list here.

What did Patreon say?

The response was swift, with Patreon tweeting this response to someone saying "Please ban Milo":

External Link: @Patreon: …Milo Yiannopoulos was removed from Patreon as we don't allow association with or supporting hate groups on Patreon. For more info, please see our Community Guidelines.

One of the platform's community guidelines states: "There is no room on Patreon for hate speech such as calling for violence, exclusion, or segregation.

"This includes serious attacks on people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or serious medical conditions."

External Link: milo.yiannopoulos: Well, that's that. Back to square one, I guess!

A representative from Patreon also reached out to Yiannopoulos via email, saying his association with The Proud Boys "though recently disavowed, is a breach of our guidelines".

ICYMI, The Proud Boys describe themselves as "a pro-Western fraternal organisation for men who refuse to apologise for creating the modern world; aka Western Chauvinists".

The group's founder Gaven McInnes was recently denied a visa to tour Australia.

It's been a tough few years…

Remember that back in July 2016, Yiannopoulos was permanently banned from Twitter for levelling what they said was "targeted abuse" towards actress Leslie Jones of Saturday Night Live and Ghostbusters fame.

In February 2017 he resigned as senior editor of far-right website Breitbart News after a livestream resurfaced in which he said relationships between adult men and teenage boys can be "hugely positive experiences".

In the resurfaced video he also said that the age of consent is not a "black-and-white thing", and that sex between "younger boys" and older men could be a "coming-of-age-relationship … in which those older men help those younger boys discover who they are".

External Link: FOX10 Phoenix YouTube video in which Milo Yiannopoulos resigns from Breitbart

Even though Yiannopoulos, who says he was sexually abused by a priest as a teenager, apologised for appearing to advocate for similar abuse, his $250,000 book deal was promptly cancelled by publishing house Simon & Schuster (remember the scathing editor's notes on his autobiography that was tendered to court as part of a legal battle?)

External Link: @ryxnf: this comment on milos manuscript has me dead

Later that year he took a huge financial blow after his billionaire backer, and fervent supporter of US President Donald Trump, Robert Mercer withdrew his support.

He took another financial blow when another major backer, cryptocurrency billionaire Matthew Mellon, died unexpectedly.

His financial woes led to him having to lay off staff off his Milo Entertainment Company in April.

Earlier this week, The Guardian reported Yiannopoulos owes more than $2 million in debt, according to documents from promoters of his cancelled Australian speaking tour.

But Yiannopoulos seemingly remained unfazed, writing on Facebook:

"They say I owe $2m. I don't! It's at least $4m. Do you know how successful you have to be to owe that kind of money?

"For those wondering, it's true. I am pretty broke, relatively speaking. Two years of being no-platformed, banned, blacklisted and censored because I'm the most effective, talented cultural warrior of my generation has taken its toll. But you know what? It was worth it. I was instrumental in getting Trump elected and I wrote a New York Times bestselling book."

The full post levelled criticism against Australian tour operator AE Media, "Leftist critics" and heralded the new year, signing off saying:

"You will never shut me up. Here's to 2019. With love from a bruised, broke — but unbeaten — hoe."

Original Article