Following intense social media backlash, the crowdfunding site Indiegogo is standing by its decision not to remove a campaign raising funds for Michael Slager, the North Charleston, South Carolina, police officer who was charged with murder Tuesday after fatally shooting Walter Scott in the back.
The campaign was launched Wednesday by an anonymous user who asserts that the 33-year-old Slager made a “misstep in judgment” and was “protecting the community” when he fired eight shots at Scott, a 50-year-old unarmed black man who was fleeing at the time.
The campaign is titled “Michael T. Slager Support Fund.” It had raised only $66 as of late Wednesday afternoon, but it has nevertheless attracted the ire of Twitter users who have been calling on Indiegogo to remove it. A number of users are calling for a boycott.
â€” Tha Observer (@justsayinman) April 8, 2015
.@indiegogo Please explain how allowing a fundraiser for a someone charged with murder fits into your community standards.
â€” Robin Whore (@madamdehooch) April 8, 2015
â€” Dante Boykin (@DanteB4u) April 8, 2015
Earlier on Wednesday, the same campaign was removed from GoFundMe, a competing crowdfunding site, which said it violated its terms of service. Last year, GoFundMe came under similar criticism when it allowed campaign organizers to raise more than $400,000 in support of Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Missouri, police officer who shot Michael Brown. Wilson, unlike Slager, was not charged with a crime.
Like Indiegogo, GoFundMe insisted at the time that it was a neutral platform and that did not remove campaigns simply because it disagreed with them. However, it has wavered from that stance in other situations, removing campaigns that contained subject matter it “would rather not be associated with.”