Authentication & Security

WePay Suspends Medical Fundraiser for Ailing Porn Actress, Eden Alexander

On 11th May 2014, Ailing adult film star – Eden Alexander – had setup a medical fundraising campaign on GiveForward, to raise money for treatment of her illness. After reviewing payments beginning May 15, 2014 WePay says in a blog statement that they discovered tweets from Eden’s supporters which was in turn retweeted by Eden Alexander offering adult material in exchange for donations. Hence they withheld funds and outrageously enough - suspended the campaign.

How did it all happen?

  • Eden Alexander had an allergic reaction to a medication, which required some serious medical attention.
  • She had tweeted earlier this month that she was suffering from septic poisoning that caused her lungs and heart to fail.
  • The doctors however, refused to provide the right care or treatment, resulting in a worsening of Eden’s condition, according to the Adult Star’s tweets.
  • Thereafter, Eden set up a Crowdfunding campaign on GiveForward in order to raise cash for her medical bills.
  • GiveForward provides free online fundraising pages allowing friends and family to raise money directly for a loved one when they need it the most. Its payments are processed by WePay.
  • A few days after the campaign had been set up, one of Eden’s supporters tweeted an offer to trade nude pictures in exchange for donations. This was retweeted by the Eden.
  • WePay then withheld some of the donations made to the Adult Star and finally had her campaign removed from GiveForward entirely, stating a violation of their Terms of Service.
  • “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,” it states.

Eden Alexander and her supporters have spoken out in fury against WePay’s treatment of the entire situation.

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Since then, Eden restarted the campaign on Crowdtilt and has acquired over $8000 in funding at the time of writing.

WePay responded with a blog statement:

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Porn is a highly regulated and legal industry in the U.S, but the people still face several issues in terms of sending or receiving money of any kind. WePay (and a number of other payment processors before) have stressed that their hands are tied when it comes to pornography related transactions and that this discrimination comes directly from federal government.

In his post on the same topic, The Verge’s Russell Brandom points out that the FDIC guidelines rather than setting the industry guidelines have become a ‘De Facto’ ban on payments for legal items of certain types on the web. Back in 2010, there was a huge uproar as well as a massive ongoing campaign against PayPal when the payment giant decided to stop donations to WikiLeaks.

Sarah Jeong, a legal scholar told The Verge that the answer could be Bitcoin – a decentralized network with no requirement of any sort of FDIC clearance.

About GiveForward

GiveForward was Co-Founded in 2008 by Desiree Vargas Wrigley (CEO) and Ethan Austin (President). The company has received a total funding of $2.52 Mn through investors Excelerate Labs, Founder Collective, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Social Leverage, David Cohen, First Round Capital, Naval Ravikant and FireStarter Fund.

Chiraag Patel

Chiraag Patel is a Senior Reporting Analyst and the Editor of Bitcoin and Virtual Currency channels at Lets Talk Payments. He is an engineer with deep interest in MMORPG, Virtual Banking, Game Currency and Virtual Cash. Chiraag enjoys Reading& Blogging with focus on New Innovation, Technology & Startups in the Payments Space.

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