Shortly after taking off from Tehran, Iran on January 8, 2020, Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 was struck down by missiles from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, killing everyone on board. The Iranian Heritage Society of Edmonton launched a GoFundMe for the families and friends of the passengers, as did an individual named Shayesteh Majdnia (a board member of that organization). Both fundraisers were quickly flagged and taken down.
@gofundme URGENT!!! Hey guys, I’m a board member of Iranian Heritage Society of Edmonton (IHSE) and respectfully request your immediate action on resolving our campaign being taken down despite providing information requested. PLEASE!!! URL: gf.me/u/xbavs5 #FlightPS752
– @amiraghahari (10 Jan 2020)
Luckily, both were also reinstated. However, as CBC News reported regarding the IHSE fundraiser, GoFundMe demanded “a clear explanation of how you know the intended recipients of your campaign’s donations.” Even after they complied and the fundraiser was reinstated, GoFundMe said that the funds would still be subject to a “precautionary hold”:
[…] a GoFundMe “community manager” advised the IHSE that their campaign was “queued for a proactive review, but has since been cleared to raise funds” and added that funds in the account are subject to a precautionary hold until their payment processor completes a review.
GoFundMe told CBC News in an email that the word “Iran” “is not a restricted term.” However, as a test, CBC News created a fundraiser for people in Canada, but included the word “Iran” in the description. It was shutdown within an hour.