Mobile Commerce

Crowdfunding Site WeFund’s Pornography Problem

Eden Alexander is an adult entertainer who through a series of unfortunate events, stemming from an allergic reaction and less than through initial medical attention due to her profession, found herself critically ill, unable to work and facing a mounting pile of medical bills. Luckily, the crowdfunding site GiveFoward exists and created a space for people to donate to her cause.

GiveForward processes its donation payments through WePay, which in and of itself is not an unfortunate event except that a friend of Alexander’s offered nude pictures in exchange for donations to the fund, an offer that Alexander herself retweeted, and that fall directly against WePay’s terms of service, reports TechCrunch. 

“…You will not accept payments or use the Service in connection with the following activities, items or services: Adult or adult-related services, including escort services, adult massage, or other adult-entertainment services; Adult or adult-related content, including performers or “cam girls”; and Obscene or pornographic items,” states the company’s terms of service. 

WePay then withheld some of the funds donated to Alexander for her medical bills, a action that prompted first Alexander to speak out against the company on Twitter and than an increasingly public outcry against the company for its perceived heartlessness.

Alexander’s GiveForward account has since been closed down, and the company has since full released all funds to her.

In a statement on the company’s blog in the aftermath of the Eden Alexander’s story breaking, WePay noted that though they had no choice but to stop the payments because the material on offer is in direct violation of the company’s policy, they are sympathetic to Eden Alexander’s plight and willing to help.

“WePay is extremely empathetic to what Eden Alexander is facing and her hardship is unfathomable. We are truly sorry that the rules around payment processing are limiting and force us to make tough decisions. WePay notified GiveForward and the campaign has been shutdown as of May 17, 2014. Upon further review, WePay suspects Eden may not have been aware of the terms of service and we are offering her the ability to open a new campaign for further fundraising. We have reached out directly to Eden to help.”

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