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Pundit and talk show host Dave Rubin announced last month that he and fellow Intellectual Dark Web denizen Jordan Peterson would be leaving the crowdfunding platform Patreon. But his attempt to do so last night got hijacked by trolls as well as an inability to delete his Patreon.
The two discussed their decision on YouTube after Patreon kicked off YouTube personality Sargon of Akkad for using a racial slur on YouTube.
Rubin said his decision was in defense of free speech.
“Taking a stand for freedom of speech and expression, Dave Rubin and Jordan Peterson will be leaving Patreon today, January 15th. Thank you for your continued support and stay tuned,” the description of Rubin’s YouTube live stream said.
But the process hit some snags; throughout the live stream, as Rubin was trying to discourage people from donating to the Rubin Report, the number of patrons—and the cash flow—went up.
Just took this screen shot. WHY WON’T YOU PEOPLE LEAVE ME?!?! pic.twitter.com/xwOESEA0IZ— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) January 16, 2019
Apparently, people were donating to the page as a way to troll Rubin, which he acknowledges on the stream.
“I get it, I get it. It’s all a joke, it’s all a joke to you people. As I sit here trying to delete this thing you give me your hard-earned dollars just to stick it to the man, or something like that,” Rubin says.
“I keep telling people not to do something, and they keep doing it,” he says earlier in the livestream.
At the two-hour and 23-minute mark, Rubin reads out the final official numbers—1,744 patrons donating $10,987.
“At exactly 7:30, we’re deleting this motherfucker,” Rubin says. At 7:30pm PST, Rubin prepares to officially delete the account, after two hours of talking and several shots of tequila.
But again, he runs into some snags. After going through the multi-step process of trying to delete the account—removing his Patreon funds, entering the password associated with the account, clicking a confirmation link—twice, Rubin was unable to delete the Patreon account on his livestream. However, it’s now officially defunct.
But while he was attempting to shut down the account, Rubin accidentally revealed his personal email address. And people noticed. According to Rubin, there were attempts to hack into the account.
Thanks to everyone trying to hack my email now. You will fail spectacularly.— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) January 16, 2019
Anyhoo, what a night. You guys are something else.
Peterson also deleted his Patreon account, but with a shorter livestream.
While Rubin’s page is completely gone—the Google search link goes to a page that simply says, “This page has been removed”—a Google search for Peterson’s page goes to a page for “Eric Crews.” And on Patreon itself, a search for Dr. Jordan B. Peterson goes to a page that looks like Peterson’s Patreon. The Daily Dot was able to donate to this page.
The Daily Dot has reached out to both Peterson’s team and to Patreon to determine the veracity of the Patreon page but did not receive a response by press time.
Update 2:52pm CT, Jan. 16: In an email to the Daily Dot, Patreon said the other Peterson accounts were imposter pages that have been removed.
Ellen Ioanes is the FOIA reporter at the Daily Dot, where she covers U.S. politics. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School, and her work has appeared in the Guardian, the Center for Public Integrity, HuffPost India, and more.