Indiegogo, a popular crowdfunding platform, has come under criticism for carrying a campaign to raise money for the Heartland Institute, a thinktank that denies a link between human activity and climate change. The organisation hopes to host a conference in Paris in December to rival a UN Summit happening at the same time.
The libertarian campaign will, according to Heartland’s vice president of external relations, ‘help us stop the UN and the Obama administration from raising your taxes, increasing your energy costs, and destroying jobs’. Contributors to the campaign include figures such as David Herro, a US hedge fund manager and prominent GOP donor, who has donated $10,000.
Indiegogo’s decision to carry the campaign raises interesting questions about the accountability of the relatively new platform-based business model, as well as the balance that businesses must strike between defence of free speech and morally defensible business practices. Indiegogo, who pride themselves on freedom of expression, have distanced themselves from the content of the campaign, which flies in the face of scientific consensus. Other high profile platforms, such as Uber, have done the same when pressed on the treatment of their employees.
Do Indiegogo have a responsibility to impede potentially damaging campaigns? Who even makes that decision? Politics students and Philosophers alike will no doubt have strong views, although they might focus on different aspects of the debate to Lawyers, however. Scientists and Geographers, who may be more acutely aware of the dangers posed by climate change, may also feel strongly on the matter.