Conservatives for Women, a UK campaign group that works to “raise awareness of issues which threaten the safety and dignity of women,” has had the page it uses to accept donations unpublished by the donation and membership platform Ko-fi.
Conservatives for Women said the page “enabled us to receive occasional small donations which were very welcome as we get no funding from anywhere else apart from the sales of our postcards.”
The group also noted that it will not be able to take small donations at conferences while its Ko-fi page is down.
After unpublishing the pageKo-fi directed Conservatives for Women to its help center article on unpublished pages. This page states that “pages are usually (but not always) unpublished due to violations of Ko-fi's content guidelines or terms.
Ko-fi's content guidelines include prohibitions on several vague categories of content including “culturally insensitive language,” “hate speech,” “harassment,” and “harmful misinformation.”
“We hope this is just a genuine mistake, but we are concerned it may be yet another example of the withdrawal of financial services from groups who refuse to adhere to groupthink on certain issues and those who speak up for women in particular,” Conservatives for Women said.
The campaign group added: “We continue to pursue an explanation as to why our account has been unpublished. So far the response from Ko-fi has been unsatisfactory. Looks like another company withdrawing services from a group with legally protected views.”
The Free Speech Union, a UK group that protects those who are at risk of being penalized for exercising their right to free speech, said it would be offering its full support to Conservatives for Women.
“Yet another financial company censoring political dissent,” The Free Speech Union tweeted. “This discriminatory decision must be reversed NOW.”
The unpublishing of Conservative for Women's Ko-fi page follows online payments company PayPal shutting down the accounts of several UK campaign groups last week before reinstating them after facing backlash. UK lawmakers have since proposed new regulations that would prohibit companies from banning accounts of campaign groups for political reasons.