By refusing to provide verified status for the Colorado triple-amputee veteran behind the ‘Build the Wall’ GoFundMe, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey appears to be sanctioning fraudulent fundraising efforts by allowing fraudsters to impersonate him.
Brian Kolfage, creator of the viral GoFundMe that’s raised almost $20 million to date, tweeted about having a request for verification on Twitter denied.
Hey @jack your platform is enabling wire fraud in my name and your users are stealing this disabled veterans identity. Why was my verification denied. @WarrenDavidson @Jim_Jordan @MarkMeadows #GoFundTheWall @STEPHMHAMILL @RyanAFournier @JenLawrence21
— Brian Kolfage (@BrianKolfage) January 4, 2019
According to Kolfage, scammers are impersonating him, using his name to trick American patriots into thinking they’re donating to a genuine effort to fund a border wall. If Twitter provided verified status for Kolfage’s actual account, individuals seeking to donate to the genuine GoFundMe could find it easier to locate him online.
The GoFundMe maintains that all funds will be held for use exclusively on the construction of a wall on the southern border. It wouldn’t be the first time private donations were used to facilitate a federal project; the Washington Monument was repaired with private funds in 2012.
Republican Congressman Mark Meadows also tweeted about the need for Jack Dorsey to verify Kolfage to safeguard Twitter users from fraud on Tuesday:
.@jack Brian Kolfage is a disabled Veteran and a popular user on your platform. I met with him in my office just a few days ago. People are impersonating him on Twitter to try and scam users for money. He needs to be verified. Why was his application denied? https://t.co/H2MWXoa8yG
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) January 8, 2019
If you’re going to provide verification for anyone on Twitter, it makes sense that it would be used to for a prominent fundraiser, to ensure that donations aren’t siphoned away by less than savory characters. However, it’s become increasingly clear that Twitter’s blue check is all-but-reserved for a pre-approved set of establishment progressive and centrist friendly journalists and self-appointed public figures.
It remains to be seen if the almost $20 million raised by Kolfage will be used to help build a wall, and most would prefer the United States government would fund the protection of its own borders instead of delegating its duties by passing the buck to private citizens. With that said, it is very much possible in theory for Kolfage’s raised money to be spent on building the wall.
“It has long been the law that private citizens can donate to the government. In 2012, a billionaire donated $7.5 million to help rebuild the Washington monument after the August 2012 Virginia Earthquake. Most of the legal authority focuses on when a taxpayer can deduct a donation to the U.S. Treasury from his or her income taxes.“
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