A call for donations to a personal PayPal account by right wing commentator Katie Hopkins has drawn widespread criticism – and inspired a counter fundraiser in aid of refugees.
Hopkins posted a tweet on Monday evening asking for $5 donations to support her work and keep her on the road.
“This is the only place to help fund my one woman army,” she added.
The tweet has been met with criticism and many have been calling PayPal out for allowing Hopkins to use the service.
Katie Hopkins is using @PayPal to solicit donations.— TellMAMAUK (@TellMamaUK) June 18, 2019
Tommy Robinson was banned from the platform last year.
As PayPal makes clear: “We do not allow PayPal services to be used to promote hate, violence, or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory."
Time to step up. pic.twitter.com/DqfO2VAemC
Tell MAMA, a charity which records and measures anti-Muslim incidents, called for the online payments system to “step up” in a tweet, pointing out the rules which state “We do not allow PayPal services to be used to promote hate, violence, or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory.”
Last year far-right activist Tommy Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was banned from using the service for violating terms and conditions.
Katie Hopkins - as retweeted by Donald Trump - is raising money via PayPal. PayPal’s acceptable use policy clearly says it cannot be used for ‘the promotion of hate, violence, racial or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory’. So why is it @PayPal? pic.twitter.com/WSWRjU85fp— Carole Cadwalladr (@carolecadwalla) June 18, 2019
On Tuesday Singer Lisa Moorish set up a Go Fund Me page to raise money for Care4Calais, a charity which supports refugees in northern France, and asked for people to donate in Hopkins’ name in response to her PayPal tweet.
The crowd-funder quickly became the top trending page on the platform, according to Go Fund Me, and has raised more than £2,000 just hours after being launched.
It is unknown how much Hopkins has raised through PayPal.
HERE GOES KIDS!! PLEASE RT. I am raising money for £3 to Calais Aid in Katie Hopkins name. Click to Donate: https://t.co/4Uyxt1xc0f via @gofundme Please put ‘IN K HOPKINS NAME’ in the comment box. ♥️🙌🏽— Lisa Moorish 🤓 (@LisaMoorish) June 18, 2019
One of those donating to the refugee charity said: “It’s great the way something good has come out of something bad.”
Another said: “Donating in K Hopkins name because hate can only be beaten with love.”
Moorish told HuffPost UK she set it up because Hopkins “continues to spread her hate and fear, and worryingly, her popularity grows”.
She said the Go Fund Me page was a way to “combat that hate, peacefully and with a bit of humour”.
“She has single-handedly caused so much irreparable damage to the refugees cause in the north of France in particular. Care 4 Calais are a charity I’ve supported for a while now, and they need more support with what is a humanitarian crisis in Calais.”
you can report it here - https://t.co/iReG5z2CFN , the paypal is https://t.co/KOUG6Z2sHY . I reported it for spreading hate and specifically including claims of funding an army. It takes less than minute and you will need an email address.— Cut and Pastryarch (@amias) June 18, 2019
Some of those criticising PayPal suggested reporting Hopkins through the platform’s complaints system.
Others pointed out that Hopkins wrote a comment piece for the MailOnline slating the rise in popularity of fundraising.
But the media personality has perhaps been left with little choice. Last year it emerged she had allegedly applied for an insolvency arrangement in a last ditch attempt to avoid bankruptcy, after piling up debts.
Amazing. “But Twitter, please crowdfund my life by PayPal when I’m perfectly capable of getting a job”. https://t.co/CAs0lspH12— Sali Hughes (@salihughes) June 18, 2019
In 2017, Hopkins lost a libel case against the food blogger Jack Monroe after sending two tweets in which she implied that Monroe supported the vandalism of a war memorial.
The court ordered Hopkins to pay £24,000 in damages and £107,000 in legal costs within 28 days.
Her Daily Mail column and LBC show both ended last year by “mutual consent” and she put her £1m Exeter mansion on the market in February this year, selling it for £950,000 within three weeks.
In January 2018, she joined The Rebel Media, a Canadian far-right website, on which Tommy Robinson, founder of the far-right English Defence League, is also a contributor.
Right Wing Watch, a US project that monitors right wing activists, reported in January that Hopkins had been quietly dropped from the website.
She also blogs on her own website and creates videos for YouTube.
At the weekend she hit the headlines when US President Donald Trump retweeted a post where she called London “stab-city” after a spate of deaths in the capital.
She added: “This is Khan’s Londonistan.”
The tweets, which were widely condemned as being “racist”, became the subject of a row between Tory leadership contenders after Jeremy Hunt defended Trump.
PayPal has been approached by HuffPost UK for a comment.
CORRECTION: This article was corrected on Tuesday June 18 to make clear that Katie Hopkins no longer works for The Rebel Media.