Elizabeth Heng, CEO of The New Internet, announced on Thursday on Twitter that the GoFundMe crowdfunding platform had shut down her campaign created to support her new, freedom of speech-friendly company.
UNREAL: Another Tech Giant @gofundme targets Free Speech pic.twitter.com/SAiMKqUmLk
The New Internet bills itself as a platform for restoring free speech and allowing all authenticated users to comment on every social media or news website without being censored.
In a short video on Twitter, Heng explained that the topic of online censorship became important to her when she ran for Congress. This Republican said that her Facebook and Twitter accounts got banned for several weeks at that time, as she attempted to tell her family story of arriving in the US as refugees.
And now, her attempt to launch a campaign for her new company resulted in GoFundMe removing it, citing only a violation of the terms of service under “prohibited content” and providing no further details.
Heng thinks that GoFundMe might be another Silicon Valley company that simply “doesn't like the words ‘freedom' and ‘anti-censorship',” but vowed to soldier on with her “no censorship” platform and continue to “speak truth” to Big Tech power.
She said she was going to work as hard as possible to give people who feel voiceless a voice – “so that this American value of freedom of speech is not stifled, and that we continue to hold on to it and not let these tech giants dictate what stories and what messages live on,” this US politician and the New Internet CEO is heard saying in the video.
In a press release issued a while later, Heng accused GoFundMe of applying censorship that targets free speech, and reiterated both her previous first-hand experience with online censorship, and determination to continue standing up to Big Tech and Silicon Valley billionaires whom she accuses of running monopolistic companies that stifle freedom of expression.
In yet another tweet posted after this, Heng shared that PR Newswire – a US-based press release distributor – had decided to cancel her statement for the press concerning the GoFundMe situation. According to Heng, who cited a telephone conversation between her team and the distributor, the reason is that this was “too hot of a topic.”