Notified of Hate Groups Using Its Service, Stripe Chooses Inaction

People carrying Identity Europa flags (and one Ohio flag) march in front of clergy as they arrive at Emancipation Park at the Unite the Right 2017 rally. (Photo: Anthony Crider via WikiMedia Commons)

Stripe, a widely used online payment processor, has been informed about the use of its services by specific far-right extremist groups to finance their organizing efforts but the company has chosen inaction, activists say.

Used by some of the biggest names in tech—including Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft—the company claims that “millions of companies in over 120 countries use Stripe to start, run, and scale their businesses.” Payment processors like PayPal and Stripe have promised to cut off extremists using their payment processing services to fundraise for their efforts, but have failed to do so in a consistent or thorough manner. Stripe is an active part of allowing money to move from a client to the banks.

Nandini Jammi, an organizer with the advertiser awareness group Sleeping Giants, posted on Twitter that she had “been reaching out” to Stripe “for months flagging up specific groups [and] evidence.” Among groups Jammi said she flagged to Stripe were extreme-right youth movement Schild en Vrienden on February 12, anti-Muslim hate group ACT for America on March 14, anti-immigrant group Secure America Now on March 20, and far-right racist group Generation Identity on March 27. She also said she flagged Generation Identity organizer Martin Sellner to the company.

She told Right Wing Watch that an email application she uses notified her that recipients at Stripe, which include high-ranking company leaders, had viewed her emails but she did not receive a response.

Of the groups Jammi flagged, only Generation Identity accounts have been suspended, although for a seemingly more obvious reason: it was revealed that a terror attack suspect believed to be responsible for killing 50 people at two mosques in New Zealand had given €1,500 to Sellner using Stripe. A post on Generation Identity’s website reads: “Currently because of increased censorship our ability to process credit card donations has been shut down.” Prior decisions to cut off toxic organizations using Stripe to fund hateful activity have been similarly reactive. Last year, Stripe pulled funding from Gab, a social media website popular with members of the extreme right, after a Gab user entered a synagogue in Pittsburg and murdered 11 people, injuring an additional seven worshippers.

Last year, ThinkProgress and Right Wing Watch co-published a report detailing the numerous extremist groups that, in broad daylight, use Stripe to accept credit card donations over the internet. Right Wing Watch reached Stripe for comment but did not receive a response prior to the publication of this article.