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Updated Dec 17, 2018 at 10:57AM EST by Don.

Added Nov 12, 2014 at 06:33PM EST by Don.

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Patreon is an online crowdfunding platform that allows creatives to receive regular payments from users to fund their work.


Patreon[1] was launched in May 2013, by musician Jack Conte as a means to receive regular payments from fans of his YouTube videos. By February 2014, nearly half of Patreon artists were YouTube video creators. In June 2014, Patreon raised $15 million in Series A funding from investors Alexis Ohanian, Sam Altman, David Marcus, Joshua Reeves and other tech entrepreneurs.[6]

GamerGate Controversy

As interest grew in the GamerGate controversy, it was discovered that several games journalists were actively contributing money to indie game developer Zoe Quinn’s Patreon account, including Polygon editor Ben Kuchera. On August 26th, Kotaku[3] editor Stephen Totilo posted a statement regarding the gaming news site’s code of ethics, announcing that Kotaku[3] journalists would not be allowed to contribute to the Patreon accounts of game developers. The same day, Polygon[4] followed up with a similar statement announcing that all writers must disclose any contributions they have made to developer’s Patreon accounts. Readers later released a statement condemning Polygon’s new ethics policy for being unsatisfactory.[9] On September 5th, Totilo revised his statement regarding Patreon support, noting that Kotaku could support Patreon pages in order to gain access to developer's work.[7]

Sarkeesian Effect

On August 23rd, vloggers Davis Aurini and Jordan Owen launched a Patreon[5] page for a documentary called "The Sarkeesian Effect," which aimed to investigate GamerGate and "give a voice to those who have been victimized by the social justice moral authority." On September 30th, Twitter user Dave Doyle tweeted at Conte asking him to remove The Sarkeesian Effect page for being "sexist." Jack Conte responded that an open discussion about the page would be held on Patreon. It was subsequently determined that the page did not violate Patreon's terms of service.

Dave Doyle @meraxes Sep 30 @jackconte please do the right thing and kill this sexist s---. Don't let Patreon be co-opted. わ t37 5 Jack Conte * Follow @jackconte @meraxes everyone, we're having an open discussion about the sarkeesian effect on Patreon right now for 15 mins わ ★ RETWEETS FAVORITES 12:35 AM-1 Oct 2014

Harassment Lawsuit

On November 6th, a lawsuit was filed against Patreon by George Ouzounian, aka “Maddox,” and his girlfriend for failing to stop harassment that included racial and sexual abuse, doxxing, and death threats by his former business partner, Dick Masterson.[11] Masterson runs a podcast that is exclusively available on Patreon. Maddox alleges that the podcast and the comments encourage harassment against him, which Patreon had been alerted to but did not stop. Maddox is suing Masterson and Patreon for $20 million.

Updated Fee System and Backlash

In December of 2017, Patreon announced that they would update the way pledges to creators are handled. As it currently stands, creators pay a 7-15% processing fee for every donation they receive. Patreon announced they would change this model, making creators pay 5% of the fee and have pledgers pay an additional 2.9% and a flat $.35 to their donation.[8] This led to intense backlash against Patreon, as the new policy would disproportionately affect $1-$5 donators. Polygon offered an example of how this math would play out like so:

Under the new rules, patrons who pledge $1 to a creator will see their payments go up to $1.38. Those who pledge $5 to a creator will pay $5.50. This means for people who back 10 creators on Patreon at $1 per post, it will cost them $13.80, vs. $10.64 if they donated that to one creator.

This led many Patreon users to unsubscribe from the service, affecting preexisting subscriptions they had with creators. Twitter user and animator @kateleth[9] posted screenshots of her subscribers deleting their subscriptions because of the payment update (shown below).

Kate Leth @kateleth Follow LOVING this new update to @Patreon ESMH #SMH #SMH #SMH #SMH #SMH #SMA $1 deleted by $1 deleted by S1 deleted by $1 deleted by $1 deleted by $5 deleted by S. die $5 deleted by wSMM

On Youtube, YouTuber The D-Pad uploaded a video explaining why the new system is bad for patrons, gaining over 34,000 views (shown below, left). Channel The Know uploaded a similar video that gained over 174,000 views (shown below, right).

On December 13th, 2017, Patreon released a blog post by CEO Jack Conte apologizing for announcing the change, and that Patreon would not implement it.[10]

December 2018 Bannings

On December 1st, Patreon suspended a page for BitChute. That day, BitChute[12] published a blog post, saying that "Patreon believes that BitChute has no policies against violent organizations."

On December 5th, 2018, Patreon removed an account for Milo Yiannopoulos from the platform, citing rules against "association with or supporting hate groups" (shown below).

Andrew Ferguson@warandpeace Dec 5 @Patreon@PatreonSupport Please ban Milo. Thank you. 110 Patreon Patreon Replying to @warandpeace @PatreonSupport Hi there, thanks for the tweet. 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.

The following day, Patreon removed Sargon of Akkad and right-wing political commentator James Allsup from the platform. That day, YouTuber Styxhexenhammer666 uploaded a video discussing the bannings titled "Patreon Bans Sargon of Akkad, Milo, James Allsup (More Outrage Mobbing)" (shown below).


On December 16th, 2018, author Sam Harris posted a tweet announcing that he would be closing his Patreon account in protest of the platform banning "several prominent content creators from its platform" (shown below).[13]

That day, The Rubin Report uploaded a video in which host Dave Rubin discusses creating a Patreon alternative with Jordan Peterson (shown below).

That day, evolutionary psychologist Geoffery Miller tweeted[14] a link to the video, along with an announcement that he would be deleting his account, adding the hashtag "#BoycottPatreon"[15] (shown below, left). Meanwhile, Twitter user @nathanTbernard posted a tweet referring to Harris as a "race science guru" and speculating that the Patreon alternative would be a "white nationalist crowdfunding platform" (shown below, right).

Geoffrey Miller @primalpoly Hey Patreon, given your arbitrary ideological censorship, I'm deleting my account, in solidarity with @SamHarrisOrg & @RubinReport. Fix your platform's attitude, or you'll wither & die. #BoycottPatreon For more on the problem, see Patreon Problem and Solution: Dave Rubin and Jordan Pet... Dave and Jordan ( discuss their frustration with Patreon and their plan to take a stand and build something bette PATRE OBLEM &SOLUTIO Nathan Bernard @nathanTbernard Race science guru, Sam Harris, just deleted his Patreon. Earlier today, Dave Rubin and Jordan Peterson claimed they're also leaving the platform and are, "in talks with investors" about building a Patreon for free speech lovers. AKA a white nationalist crowdfunding platform


As of November 2014, has a global rank of 5,371 and a United States rank of 2,147 on the traffic analytics site Alexa.[2]

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