The crowdfunding platforming Ko-fi is hosting and profiting from more than a dozen QAnon figures who have collectively raised at least tens of thousands of dollars on the platform. Several of these QAnon figures moved to Ko-fi after Media Matters’ reporting led to their ban from another crowdfunding platform, Buy Me a Coffee.
Ko-fi was founded in 2012 as “a place to build a membership community or a super-easy way to sell products and commissions with just a link” and a platform “for anyone who wants to start making an income directly from fans.”
The platform, which requires accounts to pay either a 5% fee per donation, a fixed monthly subscription, or annual subscription, has rules that prohibit “content including links to and from the platform which is fraudulent, misleading, inaccurate or dishonest,” “hate speech, intimidation or abuse of any kind targeting any individual, group or institution,” or “any other activity that Ko-fi may deem in its sole discretion to be unacceptable.”
Despite those rules, a Media Matters review found that Ko-fi has been hosting more than a dozen accounts for figures known for supporting the QAnon conspiracy theory. These figures have collectively earned at least $20,000 on the platform pre-fees — a low revenue estimate based on the minimum potential value of “coffee” tokens that are cashed in for revenue.
Ko-fi provides information only on the number of donated “coffees” an account receives, so Media Matters could not determine whether individual donations were higher than the minimum donation or whether donations were one-time, recurring, or monthly memberships.
QAnon figures have previously been banned from crowdsourcing platforms, including Patreon and Buy Me a Coffee. After QAnon figures were banned from Buy Me a Coffee following Media Matters’ reporting, some of them moved directly to Ko-fi.
These accounts moved directly from Buy Me a Coffee to Ko-fi:
- Utsava, a figure banned from multiple platforms who has made “bogus predictions about JFK Jr. and the Pope via video streams” and been accused of stalking and making threats. She announced her move to Ko-fi in light of what she described as an impending Buy Me a Coffee ban. On Ko-fi, she advertises that she “has predicted for many years the great awakening with accurate timelines of arrests and the take-down of the cabal.” She has made at least $3,700 from Ko-fi before fees.
- Woke Societies, a show banned from YouTube and Buy Me a Coffee. The show moved to Ko-fi following its Buy Me a Coffee ban.
- A QAnon account known as Grasshopper17. The account moved to Ko-fi directly following its Buy Me a Coffee ban. The account has exchanged QAnon slogans on its donor page with at least one donor.
- TRUReporting, a QAnon show banned from multiple platforms, including Buy Me a Coffee. The show moved to Ko-fi following its Buy Me a Coffee ban.
Other QAnon figures who are using Ko-fi to make money include the following:
- Chris Paul, a host on the QAnon channel Badlands Media who has promised followers to cover “new Q-drops regularly when they arrive” since they’re “both newsworthy and interesting.” He has earned at least $6,600 from the platform before fees.
- A QAnon YouTube channel called Knowledgeofawakening, whose profile image on its door page features a flaming “Q,” referring to QAnon’s central figure. The account has earned at least $5,300 before fees.
- An account called Majestic 12 HUB, which describes itself on its donor page as “focused on and related to Majestic 12 and Q in order to provide the highest level of intelligence available to humanity during ‘The Great Awakening.’” The account has made at least $3,100 before fees, with donors or the account leaving comments to donors featuring the QAnon slogan (“where we go one, we go all,” or “WWG1WGA” for short).
- A QAnon account known as Patriot Dave and Missouri Patriots. The account has made more than $1,500 pre-fees.
Ko-fi also features white nationalist accounts. Steve Franssen, a white nationalist vlogger, has earned at least hundreds of dollars pre-fees on the platform. The platform also features accounts dedicated to Adolf Hitler and dedicated to making art for the white nationalist “Groypers” — netting those accounts a combined total of at least hundreds of dollars before fees.
Correction (7/25/23): This piece originally stated that Utsava had been banned from Buy Me a Coffee. She had written that she was moving to Ko-fi because of an impending ban from Buy Me a Coffee, but her account is still active there.