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Keiko @keikoinboston
, 51 tweets, 27 min read Read on Twitter
1. 🚨 Patreon Rant 🚨

I wasn’t going to weigh in on this because I’m not a #Patreon user and at this rate not sure I will ever be one but I’ve been following the commentary and have some thoughts.
2. If you haven’t been paying attention here’s an article
archive.is/jmD9H
businessinsider.com/patreon-crowdf…
3. Most of the commentary I’ve seen about Sargon of Akkad (Carl Benjamin) getting kicked off Patreon with no warning has focused on their arbitrarily making up rules and enforcing them on the fly + CEO Jack Conte’s apparent misdirection.
4. After Lauren Southern was banned, Jack claimed on The @RubinReport on 7/31/17 that Patreon needed to do better on clarifying their rules and setting up warning/appeals processes and yet apparently they have done none of that. @ 35:48
@RubinReport 5. Jack Conte to Dave Rubin on 7/31/17.
I’ve taken out the hesitations for easier reading. Emphasis mine.
7. Per @MLChristiansen’s conversation with Patreon, the Trust & Safety team is comprised of 17 people. @ 6:33

docs.google.com/document/d/1U0…
8. At a minimum it seems wildly unprofessional that in the immediate aftermath of Sargon being banned, this small team was reaching out to creators to talk to them about him and his situation while not responding to Sargon. What kind of juvenile high school crap is this?
9. Sargon had to find out from one of his patrons what Patreon had told them about why he was banned.

Hours after Patreon banned Sargon, they finally reached out to explain why. So apparently they have no standard operating procedures. @ 1:57

10. I don’t think there’s any excuse for this kind of disorganization & poor communication coming from a company of this size and age. Smaller, younger companies have more responsive and ethical customer service for clients.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patreon
11. Now it’s coming out that what Jack and his Trust & Safety team are telling creators in private is not the same as what they’re telling the media. 🤔
archive.is/QD5I8
12. It all makes you wonder who exactly is in charge at Patreon if Jack and other company reps are telling different people different stories and the story keeps changing. 🤷🏻‍♀️
13. Patreon seems to be scrambling to pin anything they can on Sargon as reasons why he was banned besides their initial claim that it had to do with slurs he used in a livestream on a small YouTube channel owned by a different creator.
14. Here Patreon’s rep references a 2017 incident at VidCon to @MLChristiansen @ 9:26.

docs.google.com/document/d/1U0…
15. Patreon said the same thing to @NuanceBro. (Note: the account he tagged is a parody account. Sargon was banned from Twitter in August 2017.
facebook.com/sargonofakkad1…
archive.is/Gzn4T)
archive.is/r0zp9
16. Sargon’s perspective on what happened at VidCon 2017 posted on 6/23/17.
17. Patreon’s investigation of Sargon actually cleared him. 🤷🏻‍♀️ This is mentioned in the Mic article they cite, which Sargon quoted from @ 38:36 in a video posted on 6/29/17.
18. So in June 2017, Patreon investigated Sargon for a potential violation of their TOS and found that he was not in breach of TOS yet somehow that incident is being cited in Dec 2018 as something he was warned over? 🤔
archive.is/Ytd5g
mic.com/articles/18108…
19. From the beginning, Patreon has marketed their site as a place where artists can earn a living.
archive.is/J693I
techcrunch.com/2013/05/08/pom…
20. But very few creators are successful enough to do that and the handful who are, now have to worry that Patreon will cut their income stream with no notice and no explanation. What kind of bait & switch nonsense is this?
archive.is/grrrK
theoutline.com/post/2571/no-o…
21. Patreon has instead provided content creators with an abusive relationship where they have to walk on eggshells and watch everything they say and do—not only on Patreon—but on other platforms and in real life, due to the threat of being cut off from income at any time.
22. Patreon will play nice with you if they like you or if you’re making them enough money but if they don’t like you they will figure out how to throw you off the platform after having used your notoriety to make them thousands of dollars.
23. Even worse, any time Patreon bans a high profile creator, it has ripple effects across the platform for other creators as patrons quit the platform in protest.
24. It doesn’t appear that Patreon understands their role in this per @MLChristiansen’s convo @ 2:41 where their rep tried to shift blame onto the fact that he & Sargon share patrons, as though this is an unavoidable problem.

docs.google.com/document/d/1U0…
25. Jack insisted to @RubinReport that Lauren Southern’s banning wasn’t personal (see tweet #4) but when enforcement is uneven because your Trust & Safety team is too small to keep up with all of the reports they receive and…
archive.is/pRlKa
26. … when certain activists are directing their followers to mass report specific creators you can’t call Patreon’s actions neutral either.
27. They also made it clear to @MLChristiansen that free speech isn’t their priority, but rather “build[ing] a community of creators that are comfortable sharing a platform”. @ 3:23

docs.google.com/document/d/1U0…
28. Where are the warning and appeals processes that Jack said Patreon was going to implement? Sargon got no warning and the appeals process that he was told he could initiate was along the lines of the “have you stopped beating your wife” fallacy.
29.

@ 3:50

“To begin the appeal process, please respond with any evidence you feel helps explain why the language you used in conversation with Michelle Catlin doesn't constitute hate speech.”

30. Milo’s ban was even more bizarre as he was banned for his association with the Proud Boys, who he’d disavowed, because their rep told @MLChristiansen that Patreon didn’t think Milo's disavowal went far enough. 🤷🏻‍♀️ @ 6:59

docs.google.com/document/d/1U0…
31. Whatever you think of Milo & the Proud Boys and whether or not they are buddies, why should a content platform/payment processor be dictating how far you need to go to disavow your problematic current or former friends?
32. Some people were initially really excited to hear that @jordanbpeterson and @RubinReport are working on a Patreon alternative…
patreon.com/posts/23325113
archive.is/t0iSj
archive.is/CMpXU
33. … but initial enthusiasm was dampened when PayPal & Stripe pulled out from Patreon alternative SubscribeStar where Sargon & others had migrated to.

What happened to SubscribeStar could happen to any membership platform.
subscribestar.com/posts/5617
archive.is/3spnX
35. Some have suggested cryptocurrencies as the answer but no platform would be immune to politically-based pressure from banks and payment processors because the cryptocurrency would still need to be purchased and then converted back to cash.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptocur…
36. Any platforms would also be using banks and payment processors to do business with their vendors.
37. While some creators like @SamHarrisOrg have already pulled out of Patreon…

(Per @timcast he was the 13th largest Patreon creator.

archive.is/xurJm
Graphtreon archive: archive.is/MP9It)

archive.is/RI5zD
38. … others like @BretWeinstein are sticking with the platform for now because there really are no viable alternatives.
patreon.com/posts/can-patr…
archive.is/pcoTE
archive.is/mvCJy
@BretWeinstein 39. Additionally, any move away from Patreon by large creators hurts smaller creators.

@MLChristiansen told the Patreon rep that he has now lost all his 2018 progress and his income is down 42%. @ 2:13

docs.google.com/document/d/1U0…
40. The unclear rules and unprofessional customer service for creators at Patreon is very demotivating for content creators/artists like myself who have been urged by followers to set up accounts on membership platforms. This may be the bursting of the membership model bubble.
41. While creators on the progressive left may feel this is all well and good because they and their friends will never be banned, they SHOULD be concerned that Patreon’s penchant for arbitrary enforcement of rules people don’t even know about may someday be directed to them.
42. It reminds me of this card game my friends and I used to play at geek camp called mau where the number one rule was that you couldn’t tell players the rules.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mao_(card…
43. For more coverage, Sargon has been covering his own banning. Check his channel for videos tagged #PatreonPurge.
youtube.com/user/SargonofA…

@timcast also covering this story on both of his channels.
youtube.com/results?search…
44. You can read the full transcript of @MLChristiansen’s conversation with Patreon’s rep here:
docs.google.com/document/d/1U0…

or if you prefer audio, you can listen to Sargon & Vee’s dramatic reading of the transcript.
45. Also, for the record, I’ve been watching Sargon’s content on & off for ~2 years. Some of it is good & some of it is rubbish. I started on the left and haven’t been radicalized by Sargon. Still on the left. Much of the opposition against him looks like a moral panic.
46. I didn’t want to spend much time in this thread getting into Sargon’s racial identity, where he is on the political spectrum, and where he’s seems to be headed but I listened to this last night and wanted to share some quotes.
archive.is/1hQqV
47. I should also have clarified that Sargon’s deplatforming from Patreon was the result of alleged alt-right trolls—not far left activists—which I’ve seen some confusion about in various places.
48. Sargon has said in numerous videos that he and his family have been subjected to a harassment campaign by a group of these people and that he was addressing that on the stream that he’s been banned for.
49. Sargon is often accused of being alt-right, despite having a non-white grandfather, whose heritage he’s made various claims about in the past. In his conversation with @GSpellchecker he identified himself as “a child of mixed race” @ 23:52.
gspellchecker.com/2018/12/ep130-…
50. In a stream in January, Sargon said his grandfather was from the British territory of Saint Helena and that he’s not sure exactly what his grandfather’s heritage was but said that he was “definitely non-white”. @ 1:27:50
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