Israel Folau’s most high-profile supporters have hit out at GoFundMe’s decision to remove his page.

Thousands of people who donated money to help Israel Folau fund his legal fight against Rugby Australia will get their money back, after GoFundMe shut down his online campaign.

The former Wallabies star launched his appeal for $3 million on Friday and had raised more than $750,000 within four days.

But the fundraising platform said on Monday it was pulling the campaign and issuing full refunds to the more than 7000 donors.

“After a routine period of evaluation, we have concluded that this campaign violates our terms of service,” GoFundMe Australia’s regional manager Nicola Britton said in a statement.

More than 95,000 people had signed an online petition calling on GoFundMe to take down Folau’s page, noting its purpose was against the website’s terms and conditions.

One Nation NSW leader Mark Latham, who defended Folau in his maiden speech to parliament earlier this year, suggested GoFundMe’s decision was an “excessive use of corporate power”.

“During the SSM campaign, Lefties scoffed when I said the absence of Religious Freedom Protections would lead to a reign of terror against Christians. In all aspects of the Folau matter, it’s easy to see what’s happening,” he tweeted.

Columnist Miranda Devine said: “The haters and Christophobes have forced Israel Folau’s church into hiding and GoFundMe appears to have closed his account, in the usual illiberal way of woke corporates. “GoFundMe buckles to the haters and closes Israel Folau’s account – refusing to give him the $700,000 already donated.”

While Australian Christian Lobby managing director Martyn Isles said they were working against GoFundMe’s decision.

“Yes, GoFundMe has pulled the page. People are actively working on a solution,” Isles wrote on Facebook, adding that “things are completely insane at my end”.

Earlier today we shared the news that Israel Folau’s controversial appeal for financial assistance for his legal fight against Rugby Australia has been shut down by GoFundMe Australia. Read full story here.

Share your comments below


  • Like it or not it’s a private businesses right to set rules and enforce them.

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  • Oh the poor rich famous sports man will have to pay for his own lawyer. How will he ever cope?

    Christians say things like “we can’t pander to minorities” a lot. But according to the last census, they are a minority now. So sorry… we can’t pander to you. We have to go with the majority who think you need to treat the lgbtq+ community and other ‘sinners’ with dignity.

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  • It is really up to those giving the money to decide if this is a worthy cause. Hope Go fund Me gives back all the money and does not keep the fees they charge.

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  • This is about free speech and the Folaus may not have sufficient cash to get the best solicitors and barristers to represent them against a big organisation like the ARL. They may have many houses but have they fully paid them off or are they in debt? I don’t know. But I do know that no one is forced to donate to them – it is up to you. I also know that GoFundMe charges 5% of donations raised on it’s platform + 2.9% processing fee on each donation + 30c per donation so that 10 donations of $100 to raise $1000 makes the GoFundMe company $82. Work out how much the recipient gets after that.
    But the fact that so many are contributing to help the Folaus shows how many Christian people are unhappy with the way our current society is going.
    It isn’t against gay/lesbian/etc. people – it is about that we cannot believe and talk openly about our faith the same way other faiths are allowed. The Christian faith, no matter which denomination, is being denigrated like no other faith. When Christians are being killed in South Africa or Sri Lanka little is said, but when a devout Christian philosophy like the Fijian population are then they are being singled out as anti homosexual. However the Muslim country populations who actively stone homosexuals are accepted?

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  • It really isn’t about Christianity or gay rights or whatever, what it was about was him breaking his contract but religion and other things have been dragged into the outrage arena, again. If he feels it’s about these specific points so strongly then he should fund it himself with his own deep pockets. Gofundme is great for those who truly can’t afford life saving situations, not this.


    • He didn’t sign a contract that said he couldn’t make comments on social media. Therein lies the problem

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  • I think it’s a very sorry day for Christianity and a huge step in the wrong direction. If you don’t want to donate, then who is making you? But to not be able to stand up as a Christian is going against what the laws of this country are. Many years ago if you were Catholic you couldn’t work in certain institute=ions and ditto if you were Presbyterian or Methodist. Do we want to return to those days again where you are thrown out of your job because you are of a certain religion?

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  • He is a millionaire, so why does he need to fund raise for his legal fees. I thought Christians were meant to help the poor and needy (not the rich and greedy), so why has the Christian lobby group set up a funding page for him, they should be helping the people that really need help, like the people who can’t afford life saving operations, medications (very surprised how much some medications can cost), people who are homeless, people who can’t afford heating or food and clothing etc, there are so many people this money could help. He broke his contract, GoFundMe said he was going against their policies, he should pay for his own legal fees. The so called Christians helping him should take a long hard look at themselves, this is not Christianity as I have been taught

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  • So a rich guy who put LBGTQ people down wants other people to pay for his court fee’s, does not sit well with me at all. He deserves to be shut down on the funding site, and there is most likely a lot of others that need to be too. There is a lot of scamming out there these days, so be careful. Unless you know the people personally I would not donate over these sites.

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  • Pretty sure it’s not about the money, it’s about people wanting to support him.

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  • I’m disgusted that someone of such wealth (anyone) would seek monies from people to support his legal bills. It’s just not fair and is outrageous. Now I’m sick also of the air time. Let this be over.

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  • Enough about this man !

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  • If you choose the behaviour you choose the consequences. Let him pay for his own legal team like the rest of us would have to in the same position. He should donate the money raised so far to other Go Fund pages who truly deserve it like Marko the little boy who was on A Current Affair, who has Neuroblastoma. Some people have bo shame.

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  • And he already has 1 million dollars repledged. Crazy!

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  • I always thought Go Fund Me was for people who didn’t have the money to pay for necessary procedures to save their lives or for people who have lost everything in fires etc. I don’t believe it should be used to pay for anyone’s court cases or those who have a lot of money and properties.

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  • Just saw on the morning news another group is backing him now and created a finding page for him. Possible his church group.
    I haven’t read all the articles on his actions and what the NRL said, but kind of feel he should be able fund his own legal battle after earning millions.

    Reply

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