Update (6/29/22): Since the publication of this article, four of the event pages have been removed. In a statement to Media Matters, Eventbrite said, “Eventbrite’s Trust and Safety team helps ensure event listings comply with our Terms of Service. Our community also plays an essential role in helping to flag any concerning content on Eventbrite. We have tools in our product that our community can use to easily report any event listing or content they believe is in violation of our guidelines. We review each report we receive and take swift action when necessary. In this case, we have removed the identified instances of these events.”
The event management and ticketing website Eventbrite has been hosting and profiting off of multiple events to screen the film 2000 Mules, which pushes the same false claims about voter fraud that led to the January 6 insurrection, even though the platform’s community guidelines prohibit “harmful misinformation.”
The movie, a purported documentary from conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza, claims to show evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. However, multiple outlets including The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Reuters, FactCheck.org, PolitiFact, NPR, and the independent conservative outlet The Dispatch have debunked the film’s claims. Former Attorney General Bill Barr, who was appointed under former President Donald Trump, has also rebutted the film, which he described as “singularly unimpressive.”
The film’s misinformation would seem to be a violation of Eventbrite’s community guidelines, which prohibit content that “promotes potentially harmful misinformation or intentionally deceptive disinformation.” Eventbrite has even previously established precedent that voter fraud misinformation violates this rule, removing an event page for a post-election Trump rally in November 2020 that planned to push false voter fraud claims.
Despite that, a review by Media Matters found multiple event pages promoting screenings of the movie. Some of the event pages involved directly selling tickets for the movie, meaning Eventbrite — which takes a cut of ticket sales on its platform — has made money off of 2000 Mules. One of the Eventbrite event pages even said that “most of this money” from ticket sales “will be used to donate to Dinesh directly for royalties,” while another claimed the movie showed “how the 2020 fraud was committed.”
One of the Eventbrite event pages for the movie listed disgraced attorney Sidney Powell as a guest speaker. Powell, who was an attorney acting for Trump after the election, has pushed numerous false claims of voter fraud, including in lawsuits, for which she was sanctioned by a federal court, and is closely tied to the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Some of the events hosted on Eventbrite of screenings are still upcoming, such as for a screening whose event page calls the movie “documented proof” of “large-scale ballot stuffing.”
Eventbrite has repeatedly struggled to enforce its misinformation policy. In 2019, the platform hosted an event page for a QAnon rally in Washington, D.C, and Eventbrite took down the event and banned QAnon events on the platform only after Media Matters reported on the page. And last year, the platform hosted events for a known coronavirus misinformation group and for a conference with QAnon and anti-vax ties, all of which it removed only after Media Matters’ reporting.