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‘Freedom Convoy’ turn to Christian crowdfunding site after GoFundMe pulls out

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'Freedom Convoy' turn to Christian crowdfunding site after GoFundMe pulls out


Protests by truckers and their supporters against Covid-19 vaccine mandates are continuing in Ottawa, Canada. — © AFP

The “Freedom Convoy” has found a new website where it can raise money after GoFundMe gave it the boot. The convoy organizers have turned their fundraising efforts to GiveSendGo.

GiveSendGo’s website describes itself as the “#1 Free Christian Crowdfunding Site” and “a place to work together with the body of Christ around the world to make a difference.”

As of Tuesday, the protesters had raised over $6.3 million of the requested donations amounting to $16 million, sparking debate over how online platforms moderate campaigns.

“To our fellow Canadians, the time for political overreach is over,” the group said on GiveSendGo. “Our current government is implementing rules and mandates that are destroying the foundation of our businesses, industries, and livelihoods.”

“We are taking our fight to the doorsteps of our Federal Government and demanding that they cease all mandates against its people,” the group added, according to Business Insider.

On Saturday, GoFundMe stated that the “previously peaceful demonstration has become an occupation” and revoked more than $8 million protesting truckers had raised on the crowdfunding platform

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GoFundMe said the group had violated its terms of service, and that the platform automatically refunded those who had donated to the cause, say The Guardian.

Supporters of US President Donald Trump who attacked the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 made extensive use of social media in the runup and during the event. – Copyright POOL/AFP Ben STANSALL

In response, the protestors migrated their fundraising to GiveSendGo, a self-proclaimed Christian crowdfunding site that in the past has hosted fundraisers for far-right groups including members of the Proud Boys and participants in the 6 January Capitol riots.

These fund-raising sites, like GiveSendGo and GoFundMe, have become a lucrative way to make money, especially for anti-vaxxers, in part because of lax standards and moderation blind spots, and in part by operating in gray areas, according to Slate.

GiveSendGo is a Christian crowdfunding platform that launched in 2015 as a site that was mainly intended to raise money for missionary trips and children needing medical treatment. And the site does indeed, host many legitimate donation requests.

However, by 2017, the site was casting itself as a safe haven for people who weren’t welcome on its much larger competitor, GoFundMe. It has become a haven for far-right fringe groups

“Gofundme has taken a stance against Christians and has been taking down campaigns that they did not agree with,” a GiveSendGo blog post from around that time read

That being said, GiveSendGo is the perfect platform because they now position themselves as a free-speech alternative, and are more than happy to take rejects from other platforms.



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Meta Launches New Reels Features, Including Stories to Reels Conversion and Improved Analytics

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Meta Launches New Reels Features, Including Stories to Reels Conversion and Improved Analytics

As it works to latch onto the short-form video trend, and negate the rising influence of TikTok, Meta has announced some new updates for Reels, across both Facebook and Instagram, including additional Reels insights, the expansion of the ‘Add Yours’ sticker, and ‘auto-created’ Reels clips. Yes, automatically created Reels videos.

Here’s how the new additions work.

The main addition is the expansion of the ‘Add Yours’ sticker from Stories to Reels, providing another way to prompt engagement from other users via Reels clips.

As you can see in these example images, you’ll now be able to post ‘Add Yours’ questions via Reels clips, while you’ll also be able to view all the various video responses to any prompt in each app.

It could be another way to spark engagement, and lean into the more interactive ethos of the short form video trend. Part of the appeal of TikTok is that it invites people in, with the participatory nature of the app essentially expanding meme engagement, by making it more accessible for users to add their own take.

Meta will be hoping that the ‘Add Yours’ sticker helps to facilitate the same, prompting more engagement with Reels clips.

Next up is auto-created Facebook Reels, which, as it sounds, will enable users to automatically convert their archived Stories into Reels clips.

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Reels updates

As you can see here, you’ll soon see a new ‘Create from Your Story Archive’ prompt in the Reels creation flow, which will then enable you to convert your Stories into Reels clips.

So it’s not exactly wholly automated Reels creation, as it’s just flipping your Stories clips into Reels as well. But it could provide another, simple way for users and brands to create Stories content, utilizing the video assets that they already have to link into the trend.

Worth noting that Meta also recently added a tool to convert your video assets into Reels within Creator Studio.

Meta’s also expanding access to its ‘Stars’ creator donations to Facebook Reels, which is now being opened up to all eligible creators.

Stars donations in Reels

Meta initially announced the coming expansion of Stars to Reels back in June, which will provide another critical monetization pathway for Reels creators. Short form video is not as directly monetizable as longer clips, where you can insert pre and mid-roll adds, so add-on elements like this are key to keeping creators posting, and fueling an ecosystem for such in its apps.

Stars on Reels will be available all creators that have maintained at least 1,000 followers over the last 60 days.

Meta’s also adding new Reels performance insights to Creator Studio, including Reach, Minutes Viewed, and Average Watch Time.

Reels updates

That’ll provide more perspective on what’s working, and what’s not, to help optimize your Reels approach – which could be especially valuable in the coming holiday push.

Lastly, Meta’s also expanding some Reels features that were previously only available in Instagram to Facebook as well.

Crossposting from Instagram to Facebook is now available to all Instagram users, while Meta’s also expanding its Remix option to Facebook Reels also.

Reels updates

As noted, Reels has become a key focus for Meta, as the short-form video trend continues to gain traction, and TikTok continues to rise as a potential competitor. By replicating TikTok’s main elements, Meta’s working to negate its key differentiation, which could ensure that more of its users don’t bother downloading a new app, and just stick with its platforms instead.’

Which, whether you agree with that approach or not, has proven effective. Reels content now makes up more than 20% of the time that people spend on Instagram, while video content, overall, makes up 50% of the time that people spend on Facebook.

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Meta additionally notes that it’s seen a more than 30% increase in engagement time with Reels across both Facebook and Instagram.

Meta doesn’t need to ‘beat’ TikTok as such (as much as it would like to), but it does need to dilute its significance if it can, and make it less appealing for users to have to start yet another new account, and re-build their friends list.

That’s why it’ll continue to replicate TikTok at every turn, because millions of people are currently not going to TikTok because of the presence of Reels in its apps.  

You can learn more about Meta’s new Reels updates here.

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