Is Venmo Blocking Donations for the Palestinian Relief Fund?

Published May 20th, 2021 - 08:03 GMT
Is Venmo Blocking Donations for the Palestinian Relief Fund?
Social media users have reported various forms of "censorship" to pro-Palestine activities. (Twitter)

Amid efforts to show support for people in Gaza as they live through heavy airstrikes on a daily basis, some online users have reported being unable to donate money to Palestinian relief funds and campaigns, claiming that the money transferring app Venmo is blocking donations.

Posting screenshots of their successive attempts to send money using Venmo, online people have questioned whether money transferring apps and websites are trying to block any form of financial support for Palestinians. However, at least one user has reported that Venmo does accept donations to Israeli campaigns.

Investigating these claims, Gizmodo has reported a statement by a Venmo spokesperson in which they said that the move to hold Palestinian donations "for review" is "part of the company’s compliance with the Office of Foreign Assets Control—or OFAC—the federal agency under the U.S. Department of Treasury that’s responsible for upholding sanctions."

Such claims come at a time numerous social media platforms have faced criticism for restricting pro-Palestinian content including photos, videos, and posts commenting on the current escalations.

For more than a week now, Palestinians in Gaza have been documenting daily shelling targeting all of the strip's cities, and entire blocks of buildings that have been demolished including shopping malls and residential buildings. Moreover, the Palestinian health ministry has reported at least 227 deaths, 64 of which are children and 38 women.

Meanwhile, Israel has reported thousands of Hamas rockets targeting Israeli towns and cities, most of which have been intercepted by the country's advanced iron dome system. So far, medical sources have reported 12 deaths amongst Israelis.

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