Update (5/15/23): Buy Me a Coffee has suspended every account mentioned in this article. In a statement to Media Matters, Buy Me a Coffee CEO Jijo Sunny said, “We strongly condemn hate groups and have a moderation team who take them down on a daily basis, even before they make any money. This is sometimes overridden when people pretend to be someone else to raise money. We will continue to be extra cautious and take action as soon as it's noticed or reported.”
Crowdsourcing platform Buy Me a Coffee has become a notable revenue stream for QAnon figures seeking to monetize their promotion of the dangerous conspiracy theory. Based on a new Media Matters analysis, QAnon figures have raised nearly $200,000 combined from the platform, which also received a cut of the money in transaction fees.
Supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory — which multiple government agencies issued internal warnings about after it has been repeatedly tied to violent incidents — have been encouraging their followers to send them money through Buy Me a Coffee. Their audiences responded, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars combined, with numerous donors praising the figures and writing QAnon-related phrases on their Buy Me a Coffee pages.
A Media Matters review of the platform and of QAnon influencers’ activity since at least early 2022 has found numerous QAnon figures launching Buy Me a Coffee pages, and they’ve had quite a bit of success: At least 27 QAnon figures using the platform have raised a combined total of more than $195,000 before Buy Me a Coffee’s “5% transaction fee,” which means Buy Me a Coffee has made money off of these QAnon figures.
The QAnon figures or entities making money on Buy Me a Coffee include the following:
- Charlie Freak, a QAnon influencer connected to the QAnon JFK Dallas cult, has made more than $40,000 from the platform before fees, with donors writing that they “have been following you … since the beginning of 2020's Plandemic” and praising him for teaching “ALL THE TRUTH” “ABOUT THE CABAL,” thanking him for “everything you do for Donald Trump, the Patriots, Q, and all of Mankind,” and thanking him for “how you’ve helped us digital soldiers by arming us with Truth.” A donor even recommended Charlie Freak’s content on “Taking Down of the Cabal from A--Z” when trying “to get someone up to speed on what’s really going on.” In reply to his donors, Charlie Freak wrote back “thank q.”
- Eye Drop Media, a QAnon video maker that was cited multiple times by QAnon’s central figure, has raised more than $21,000 from the platform before fees. Donors have written that “Q / My higher self sent Me” and praised the “great red pill video” content that had “opened my eyes to more things I hadnt yet seen or understood” and which “have been a critical player in the Great Awakening,” including claiming that they “used your vids to redpill my kids” and grandchildren. In turn, Eye Drop Media’s account has told donors that their intention has been “to inspire and help wake people up. WWG1WGA!!!”
- QAnon streamer TronAnon has raised more than $18,000 from the platform before fees. Donors have discussed specific Q posts and praised TronAnon as one of the “Digital Soldiers,” writing that “your show and decodes are astouding” and that they “love your Q research.” In response, the TronAnon account has told donors that “Q know it!”
- Liz Crokin, a QAnon influencer and prominent promoter of the debunked “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory, has made at least $540 before fees. While Crokin currently controls her Buy Me a Coffee page, she has claimed that “someone, who has stolen my identity for years on Instagram, had set this [page] up and fraudulently requested donations from my supporters often using private photos of me in the hospital.” She also praised the platform for “taking this account away from the con artist who stole it.”
- QAnon-supporting publication George News has raised over $21,000 from the platform before fees, with donors writing, “W3 LQV3 YQU!” and that they love John F. Kennedy Jr. “for saving our world from the evil cabal” (the late Kennedy is a major figure among some of the QAnon community). Donors have also claimed that the publication gave them “absolute proof that patriots are in control.”
- QAnon influencer Just Human has made at least $16,000 from the platform before fees, with donors thanking him for his “level-headedness during this Storm.”
- MatrixxxGrooove Show (or MG Show), a QAnon program that has been banned from multiple platforms, has raised at least $1,500 from the platform before fees, with donors writing that the show is their “go to” regarding “Q drops” and, “ThankQ for all you do!”
- GemComms, a QAnon program affiliated with MatrixxxGrooove Show, has raised at least $8,900 from the platform before fees. The show’s Buy Me a Coffee account has written to donors, “ThanQ so much for your support.” The account has also amplified the number 17 as the “Best number! God=17 let’s go!” (Q is the 17th letter of the alphabet, and QAnon supporters often tie the number 17 to the conspiracy theory.)
- John Sabal, a QAnon influencer known online as “QAnon John” who has previously spread antisemitism and called for a military coup against President Joe Biden, has made at least $1,000 from the platform before fees.
- RedPill78, an online show banned from YouTube and Twitch that is hosted by QAnon influencer and January 6 insurrection participant Zak Paine, has raised at least $6,400 from the platform before fees. Donors have written on the show’s Buy Me a Coffee page that they wanted to “thanQ RP” and called the show “a great calm in The Storm.”
- Terpsichore Maras-Lindeman, a QAnon influencer known online as “Tore,” who is banned from Twitch and has previously organized her followers to target COVID-19 mandates and harass elected officials over false voter fraud claims. She was also cited by former Trump attorney Sidney Powell when asking the Supreme Court to overturn the 2020 presidential election and has a close relationship with election denier Patrick Byrne. Tore has raised at least $340 from the platform before fees.
- Jordan Sather, a QAnon influencer known for pushing antisemitism and urging people to ingest bleach as a way of treating COVID-19, has raised at least $2,700 from the platform before fees. Donors wrote that they appreciated his “efforts in bringing the truth to light and educating our fellow humans, as we live through this Great Awakening,” spreading “chlorine dioxide truth,” and helping to “defeat the cabal.”
Others who have earned thousands on the platform include QAnon influencer Brad Getz (more than $7,800); QAnon show TRUReporting (more than $9,400), which has been banned from multiple platforms; and QAnon influencer Pepe Lives Matter (more than $6,100), who has aimed to “expose criminals like only anons will.”
Buy Me a Coffee’s funding for the far-right has also extended beyond QAnon, as white nationalists Tim Gionet (known online as “Baked Alaska”) and Patrick Casey have both earned money with accounts on the platform. Another white nationalist, Colin Robertson (known online as “Millennial Woes”), has earned more than $6,700 before fees, and donors have commented on Robertson’s Buy Me a Coffee page proposing the Republic of Georgia as a “nice place” for a “white ethno state” and claiming that his “streams played a big part in my enlightenment.”