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GoFundMe removes Israel Folau's fundraiser over terms of service breach

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Editor
24th June, 2019
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Fairfax Media is this morning reporting that disgraced former rugby player Israel Folau has had his controversial GoFundMe campaign cancelled by donation facilitation service, after the company deemed his campaign was in breach of the terms of service.

Folau was asking for $3 million (AUD) to fund a legal challenge against Rugby Australia after they sacked him earlier this year over homophobic social media posts.

People who have already donated to Folau’s campaign will be issued refunds.

In a statement released to the Sydney Morning Herald, GoFundMe’s Australian regional manager, Nicola Britton, said the company was “absolutely committed to the fight for equality for LGBTIQ+ people and fostering an environment of inclusivity.”

“While we welcome GoFundMes engaging in diverse civil debate, we do not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion,” she said.

The ‘prohibited conduct’ section of their terms and conditions prohibits the raising of funds for the purpose of; “campaigns we deem, in our sole discretion, to be in support of, or for the legal defense of alleged crimes associated with hate, violence, harassment, bullying, discrimination, terrorism, or intolerance of any kind relating to race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender or gender identity, or serious disabilities or diseases.”

GoFundMe also prohibits raising funds for “any other activity that GoFundMe may deem in its sole discretion to be unacceptable.”

Folau had his contract ripped up by Rugby Australia earlier this year after a social media post in April lumped homosexual people alongside “thieves, liars and drunks” as being destined for hell unless they repented.

israel folau's instagram post

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It was not Folau’s first time in hot water for homophobic social media posting, with controversial comments in 2018 seeing him disciplined by RA.

After a lengthy code of conduct hearing in May, Folau had his contract officially terminated by the governing body, but launched a legal appeal almost immediately after claiming he had no confidence he’d be treated fairly in an internal appeals process.

He is reportedly seeking $10 million in damages at the Fair Work Commission.