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Jordan Peterson, the conservative academic and YouTube personality, announced yesterday that he has been building a Patreon alternative, set to launch “hopefully before Christmas.”
In a video chat with conservative comedian and pundit Dave Rubin, Peterson discussed the news that Sargon of Akkad had been suspended from Patreon for off-platform behavior and how it highlighted the need for a “permanent” alternative to Patreon.
Harris released a statement about his decision on Twitter.
“As many of you know, the crowdfunding site Patreon has banned several prominent content creators from its platform. While the company insists that each was in violation of its terms of service, these recent expulsions seem more readily explained by political bias. Although I don’t share the politics of the banned members, I consider it no longer tenable to expose any part of my podcast funding to the whims of Patreon’s ‘Trust and Safety’ committee. I will be deleting my Patreon account tomorrow.”
Peterson later shared Harris’s statement on leaving Patreon to promote his discussion with Rubin.
Peterson, Rubin, and Harris have all retained their social media accounts and reach after tech companies cracked down on Alex Jones, Laura Loomer, Yiannopoulos and others. Both Peterson and Rubin said in their video that they had lost Patreon subscribers and financial support because people were leaving the platform in protest.
Peterson first posted about his plans to create an alternative platform on his Patreon account on Dec. 14, saying he had been speaking to people on the “Intellectual Dark Web” about the possibilities.
“Dave Rubin and I (and others) have been discussing the establishment of a Patreon-like enterprise that will not be susceptible to arbitrary censorship, and we are making progress, but these things cannot be rushed without the possibility of excess error. But I am seriously displeased about the removal of Sargon (and many other people) and will definitely do something about it.”
On both the Patreon post and in his YouTube video, Peterson praised Benjamin, who rose to fame during the GamerGate controversy by promoting anti-feminist ideology and engaged in targeted harassment of feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian. Patreon kicked Benjamin off its platform for using “racial and homophobic slurs to degrade another individual.”
In the conversation, Rubin and Peterson said Benjamin was “booted” without warning, and that he didn’t “break Patreon’s rules of engagement.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Peterson, Rubin, and Patreon for comment. A spokesperson for Rubin confirmed his subscriber losses on Patreon. Harris’ spokesperson directed the Daily Dot to his statement on Twitter.
Correction: In their conversation on YouTube, Peterson and Rubin were discussing the Sargon of Akkad being suspended from Patreon.
This article has been updated.
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.