Email marketing service Mailchimp has banned Virginia’s top-gun rights group, Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL), after its automated systems detected “serious risks” associated with the account.
VCDL was deplatformed days before it plans to host its annual Lobby Day event where “normal, everyday Americans go to the Virginia Capitol to tell our state legislators to SAY NO TO GUN CONTROL.” VCDL is now reportedly scrambling to find an alternative email service.
In a copy of the email Mailchimp sent to VCDL, which was obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, Mailchimp wrote that its “automated abuse-prevention system” had detected “serious risks associated with the account” and that “the risk is too great for us to continue to support the account.”
However, Mailchimp’s email didn’t cite any specific violations or point to an email from VCDL that had been flagged.
The president of the VCDL, Philip Van Cleave, said there was “no justification” for the ban and described it as “ridiculous.”
“We’ve never ever had a single problem with any of our events in 25 years,” Van Cleave added. “I’m sure they really didn’t research it. I think they just said, ‘Ah well, somebody complained, so…'”
The Washington Free Beacon wrote that it had reviewed several of the previous newsletters sent by VCDL before its Mailchimp account was suspended and found that the messages mostly focused on planning its Lobby Day event. None of the messages referenced the Capitol riot, election conspiracies, or encouraging demonstrations about anything unrelated to Virginia gun legislation, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
The VCDL has appealed Mailchimp’s decision to terminate its account but does not expect the company to listen.
Mailchimp’s termination of VCDL’s account follows several other groups and commentators being deplatformed by the email marketing service. the Northern Virginia Tea Party, Press for Truth, and SGTreport have also had their accounts terminated in recent months.
Over the last couple of years, the email marketing service provider has introduced a series of pro-censorship rules including a right to ban users for “inaccurate” content and a ban on all vaccine-skeptic newsletters.