Following an investigation by its trust and safety team, the fundraising website Patreon did not find Mike Boudet’s “Sword and Scale” account in violation of its community guidelines and will let the account continue to collect money from fans.
“We investigated the Sword & Scale Patreon account, and found no evidence of violating the Community Guidelines on Hate Speech or Doxing,” Patreon said in an official statement to TheWrap.
On Saturday, Boudet and the true-crime podcast — which is currently in the No.1 spot on the Apple social sciences podcast charts — was dropped by the Wondery podcast network. The split came a day after Boudet wrote in a now-deleted post on the podcast’s official Instagram, “I don’t understand dumb c–ts. Maybe I should take one apart to see how it works.”
Boudet told his fans in a statement responding to the split that “Sword and Scale” would continue to make podcasts on its Patreon platform. “We’ll keep putting out Plus episodes on Patreon, until we move to our own platform and then continue putting out episodes, behind that paywall,” he said via a SoundcCloud file.
TheWrap previously reported Boudet’s history of making derogatory comments and releasing private information without the person’s consent. “Episode 126 is proof Mike is a s–bag,” one “Sword and Scale” listener posted after Boudet revealed the name of a previously anonymous kidnap victim who had been “brutally raped multiple times.”
Episode 126 is currently still available on the Patreon account, which has more than 14,900 patrons who donate between $5 and $50 a month. Under Patreon’s guidelines against doxing, an account can’t reveal another person’s private information “for the purpose of intimidating them through harassment.”
“When doxing takes place, we lose the ability to have conversations. Doxing isn’t speech countering speech, it is speech shutting down others’ ability to speak. It removes our ability to discuss ideas, grow as individuals and have a safe space for disagreement,” the guideline reads.
Patreon also has guidelines on hate speech, which it describes as “serious attacks, or even negative generalizations, of people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or serious medical conditions.”
Boudet has previously faced backlash because of comments about the LBGTQ community, the elderly and mental illness. One of his podcast listeners wrote: “There’s a lot of podcasts that I love that have white cis males as hosts, but they’re kind and tolerant. They’re not disgusting anti-women, homophobic, transphobic a-holes.”
Patreon has previously banned accounts with high-profile names behind them after what it cites as a violation of its community guidelines. Political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos was cut off from the payment services last December for what was described as a “violation of hate speech in our guidelines.”
“Hi there, thanks for the tweet. Milo Yiannopoulos was removed from Patreon as we don’t allow association with or supporting hate groups on Patreon. For more info, please see our Community Guidelines,” the official Patreon account tweeted in December in response to a Twitter account asking for the ban of Yiannopolous.