The decentralized DLive platform has been severely criticized after far-right extremists used its services to broadcast live the assault on the Capitol in recent days in the US.
DLive in the hands of extremists?
DLive, a decentralized streaming platform that Justin Sun, the founder of Tron, purchased in December 2019, was recently used by several far-right extremists to live stream their attack on the Capitol. Not only that, these activists were also able to collect donations during the broadcast, as a result of which the platform was accused of allowing them to raise “hundreds of thousands” of dollars, mainly in cryptocurrencies.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch blog, at least five DLive accounts were broadcasting live on Wednesday’s protest. Additionally, DLive user “Baked Alaska” broke into the Capitol building in person.
The real name “Baked Alaska” is Tim Gionet. Gionet, a former Buzzfeed collaborator with strong public support, also participated in the Unite the Right rally in August 2017 in Charlottesville. He was then banned from major platforms, including Twitter and YouTube, for violating their community’s conditions.
On January 6, Gionet recorded himself in the Capitol building. He was then in the office of the President of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. The Anchorage Daily News estimates that the broadcast has more than 16,000 viewers. Its hero received donations from viewers in the total amount of $ 222 (paid by 200 donors).
“DLive has paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars to extremists, largely through cryptocurrency donation, a service embedded in the site.”
In November, the blog reported that white nationalist Nick Fuentes, who also played an important role in the “Stop the Steal” protests that led to the break-in of the Capitol building, “Made money thanks to DLive”, and these measures “Corresponded to a six-figure salary.”
DLive responded quickly to the latest developments by tweeting that “Does not tolerate illegal activities or violence” and encouraging users to report channels that violate its community guidelines.