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May 19, 2014

WePay blocks crowdfunding campaign by porn star

Page had raised nearly $1,000 before being shut down.

By CBR Staff Writer

Online payment services provider WePay has blocked a crowdfunding page used by porn star Eden Alexander aimed at raising money to pay for her medical treatment.

Alexander was reportedly suffering from the potentially life-threatening Steve Johnson’s Syndrome and was raising money to pay for her medical bills through crowd-sourcing site GiveForward.

The fundraising effort had raised nearly $1,000 before the service was shut down after WePay, which provides the financial infrastructure for GiveForward, discovered tweets from others, retweeted by Alexander, offering adult material in exchange for donations.

Alexander had set up the campaign on May 11, 2014 and the money collected through May 14, 2014 had been settled to her bank.

However, WePay said upon reviewing payments starting May 15, 2014, it detected material which contravened its company policy.

Following the shutdown, Alexander tweeted, "Got this email from @wepay saying they CANCELLED my medical fundraiser bc ill use the money for porn. LITERALLY."

Steve Johnson’s Syndrome is a painful skin condition, which according to reports could be due to drug use in adult entertainment profession.

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In a blog post, company spokesperson April Rassa wrote that the offending tweets were, "in direct violation of our terms of service as our back-end processor does not permit it," Rassa added.

"WePay is extremely empathetic to what Eden Alexander is facing and her hardship is unfathomable. We are truly sorry that the rules around payment processing are limiting and force us to make tough decisions."

"Upon further review, WePay suspects Eden may not have been aware of the terms of service and we are offering her the ability to open a new campaign for further fundraising. We have reached out directly to Eden to help."

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