The crypto-powered streaming platform DLive has come under fire after far-right extremists used the service to live stream this week’s violent insurrection in the U.S. Capitol.
DLive, the decentralized streaming platform that Justin Sun purchased and migrated to Tron in December 2019, was used by several far-right extremists to live-stream their insurrection in the U.S. Capitol building on Jan 6.
The extremists were also able to raise donations during the broadcast and the platform has been accused of allowing extremists to raise “hundreds of thousands” of dollars, mostly in cryptocurrency, since it was founded.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch blog, at least five DLive accounts live streamed Wednesday’s shocking protest, “Murder the Media,” “ Loulz,” “Woozuh,” “Gloomtube” and “ Baked Alaska”. However the organization could only confirm that DLive user “Baked Alaska” had actually breached the Capitol Building.
On Jan 6, Gionet recorded himself in the Capitol building, including live from the office of U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Anchorage Daily News estimated that more than 16,000 viewers tuned in for the stream. Gionet received donations from viewers during the criminal protest totaling $222 combined from more than 200 individual donations.
DLive takes a 25% cut out of all donations made on the platform, of which one-fifth is redistributed to other DLive users. Hatewatch noted:
“DLive has paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars to extremists since its founding, largely through donations of cryptocurrency built into a service provided by the site.”
In November the blog reported that white nationalist Nick Fuentes, who also featured prominently in the “Stop the Steal” protests that led to the breach of the Capitol Building had “generated money through DLive at a pace that matches a six-figure salary.”
DLive responded to the events on Jan 7, tweeting that it “does not condone illegal activities or violence,” and encouraging users to report channels that violate its community guidelines. DLive has been contacted, however, did not receive a comment as of press time.
DLive was not the only streaming platform used by protestors, with various streams of the attack on the Capitol broadcast on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The mainstream social platforms have sought to remove content violating their terms of service, with a Facebook spokesperson stating:
“The violent protests in the Capitol today are a disgrace. We prohibit incitement and calls for violence on our platform. We are actively reviewing and removing any content that breaks these rules.”
A video published by President Trump describing the insurrectionists as “special” prompted further action the big social media platforms, with Facebook blocking Trump’s account until at least the end of his term, and Twitter blocking the president’s account for 24 hours. In response the “free speech” decentralized social media platform Gab said they’d reached out to Trump’s team and had reserved an account for him.
In December, Justin Sun announced DLive will soon undergo an overhaul that will see it integrate with BitTorrent.