Investigating The Biggest Charity Scandal Yet…

So over the past couple of months There's been a bunch of big stories About charity scandals one of the Biggest was covering the completionist Story which is covered by Carl jop and Some ordinary gamers that was a big Scandal but another one was the story Around softgiving now soft giving isn't Actually a charity they're kind of like A marketing firm uh that works with big Streamers and connects them to Charities They've worked with some of the biggest Streamers out there otk asmin gold lwig Hasanabi all the big streamers out there Uh and they try and facilitate these Charity streams to raise money for Charities of course now what ended up Happening was uh this individual Jacob Wolf who we're going to be showing in The interview uh in a minute he actually Released a story he's a investigative Reporter saying that upwards of this Company raised millions of dollars over The past couple of years and upwards of I I believe about 40% he claims uh Actually went towards softgiving and all Of their expenses and didn't actually go To the Charities which is a massive Amount of money when people are donating Money they're not expecting 40% of the Hundreds of thousands or millions of Dollars that are raised in these Charities are just going towards Expenses and not actually helping people

So obviously this was a big story when It broke I believe moist critical Actually made a video covering this as Well it was a massive Scandal that ended Up happening another thing that happened Was Jacob Wolf the guy you're going to See in a minute was actually sued by Softgiving they said they're claiming Defamation they're claiming it's not True and so he's now being sued Hopefully I won't get sued for this Video as well but I wanted to get down Into the weed of the story break it down I I talked to Jacob wolf which you're Going to see in the interview and I also Reached out to the CEO of softgiving to Get his side of the story uh but he Declined to talk to me said they're Going to be going through the court Systems and he's not going to be talking About it publicly so obviously that's His decision he can do that but so far I Have Jacob's story you're going to see In this interview it's really riveting About everything that he covers talking About all the different streamers that Worked with softgiving uh so definitely Give it a watch first off let's uh go Ahead and introduce yourself and tell me Who you are and all that so my name is Jacob wolf uh I'm an investigative Journalist I've been a journalist for This this year end of this year will be 10 years um I have historically covered

Uh the gaming and Esports space so Gaming and Competitive Gaming uh Industry um I always tell people when I You know sort of what I cover is um Fraud sexual abuse and Millionaires and Billionaires um and so all my work tends To be pretty investigative in nature Across kind of those three different Things I've exposed to kind of in the Past uh scam artists who have tried to Take you know hundreds of millions of Dollars from people identity theft Everything else um as you can imagine Given the gaming industry is a very Online industry there are a lot of Things that happen uh internet scams Etc That happen in the gaming industry um And I have been one of the lucky few Over my career to have the resources and The expertise to dive into many of those Things um and so I spent almost 5 years At ESPN from from the beginning of 2016 To the end of 2020 um and have been Independent uh or worked a year at Esports and let their investigative team After that and have been independent for The past couple of years let's go ahead And talk about the company that uh you Wrote this report on it kind of blew up Is called company called softgiving and They're a uh I don't think it's safe to Call them a charity they're kind of like A marketing agency right so they have Worked with a bunch of big streamers um

Asmin gold mkff esan nymph Rich Campbell Uh hassabi and they've done a bunch of These charity streams where theyve Facilitated these charity streams to Raise a bunch of money for different Organizations and you have claimed and I Do have to be careful with my words Because we'll talk about this later but Apparently they have sued you uh for Your report on them but they you have Claimed that they have taken a fairly Large percentage of the actual donations Of all of these charity streams I think You said something like 40 2% of all the Money that's been raised over the past Two years in 2021 and 2022 that they Took for their company basically or Marketing expenses and all that and so That's that's kind of blown up and as This whole story you want to go over That basically how how did you get Involved in in finding out about soft Giving and all this so the beginning of 2021 um I would to say April or May of 2021 I had a uh this nonprofit and actal Charity called rise above the disorder Um reach out to me rise about the Disorder is a um charity that started as A World of Warcraft Guild that then Became an actual charity with the goal Of funding um mental health care Services for those that could not afford Them so you know they'll pay for therapy Linky up with therapist Etc is that the

One that was associated with whiz khif Wi khif yes they did an event through Softgiving with Whiz Khalifa um and so They um they hit me up in in May of 2021 One and they said hey we like are Noticing some discrepancies here uh We're not really sure um why you know we Are saying on soft King's platform that We've raised I think it's around 270 Million or sorry 270,000 um we've raised $270,000 we only remember getting paid About a hundred of it or so so and and They've sent us these documents but We're not like it's not the Math's not Mathing basically uh we're like confused Why there's so much money missing the Spreadsheets like show what they were Spending expenses on um we're very Confused and that sort of started my Journey of looking into this um was Talking to their CEO Jason doton uh who Eventually went on the record for the Story which is why I'm sharing this is How I got into it um and over time uh The more and more I looked into this um It became clear to me that a few things Were going on um one they were Compensating influencers to run charity Events um you know you kind of list it Out the laundry list but o otk is the Group otk is among the biggest of them As gold Miss KF Etc um you know the xqc Uh Austin show and um On Their donation Pages at the time uh before I started

Digging into this there was no prominent Disclosure um if you click through to Their terms of service there was some Disclosure it's very vague um but on the Actual donation Pages the thing that Most people were going to when these Streamers were linking it to them in Their twitch chats or in YouTube Descriptions or whatever um they there Was no disclosure people didn't know um And so I was like oh my God like do you Think that do you think that most of These streamers were aware that this Company was taking a large percentage or No the ones that I've spoken to say that They are not um so that's lwig uh augin Um the big gaming YouTuber says that he Was not um the uh uh XC and Austin show And the bz's sister agent Ryan Morrison From evolved Talent told me that he was Not aware and that they stopped working With softgiving after he was made aware When I reached out to him and and Started asking him some questions about This um Hassan P's agent uh he went on To do an event with them in 2023 and uh His manager David hudsen at night media Says that they like he saw receipts that Showed 100% of donations for that Specific event um I don't know about otk Uh they they didn't speak to me and That's actually kind of become a whole Scandal onto itself that you know they They aren't talking about it um I I saw

That um sorry sorry to interrupt you I Saw I saw that asmin gold uh recently Talked about he said he couldn't talk About it because there was a lawsuit I Don't know if that's the lawsuit against You or or if his company otk is suing Softgiving but he he's claimed that he Can't talk about it because of a lawsuit I haven't talked about the big thing That there's a lawsuit about did anybody El you we know yeah big [ __ ] surprise Guys rest Assured after it's Over I will have something to Say Yes um so I I have tried to speak to Otk for over two and a half year period Now um of trying to reach out to them I Have friends that work there um people That have you know been on my content Before my podcast Etc um no dice uh the People that managed to you know Asma Gold tips out is like the guy behind the Scenes that ran that that managed the Relationship was off giving um didn't Well will not speak to me about it so I Have legitimately no idea what they knew And what they didn't know um but most of The streamers said that that they were Not aware okay and so I know um let's go Over otk they they ran a a Pokemon Opening stream back in 2021 I believe um For charity what do you remember the Name of the charity that that was for Games for love so they have I focused a

Lot in my piece on games for love and I I'm happy to dive into why um but games For love has been one of the bigger Partners uh that that softgiving raised Money for and otk has raised money for Through softgiving is kind of the Middleman organization as the vehicle um The you know and otk still has done more Recent stuff with them too I believe it Was May or June of 2023 for games for Love not not softgiving via softgiving So Soft you know working with Softgiving they were I don't know if They are today again they haven't spoken To me um softgiving themselves also Haven't been particularly forthcoming Obviously they sued me when I reached Out to ask them a bunch of questions um But at the time uh they continued to Work with softgiving this summer even After the whole Hassan [ __ ] part of This Scandal um and people became aware That the donations that it might be uh Sort of a sizable amount of donations Again careful with my language here Because it the contract that was exposed Wasn't actually signed um but that you Know they might be taking a significant Portion of of those donations and otk Even after that continued to work with Them so I think otk's most recent stream With soft giving which was fundraising Four games for love um was in May or June of 2023 it was a weightlifting

Stream um that they did over I think a Two-day period um but yeah they they've Worked with softgiving since basically As early I could find was uh late summer 2020 and have continued to work with Them until most recently May or June of 2023 one of the big streams was asmin Gold mkff San nymph Rich Campbell they Did a Pokemon charity stream where they Apparently raised $600,000 for game for Love and I I think that you assessed That like almost half of that went to Softgiving and not to the actual charity Is that is that correct and I think um One thing can you go over as well is the Fact that games for love before they Partnered with softgiving they had Barely raised I think like 50,000 a year I think was like the 500,000 a year 50,000 50,000 50,000 was like the the Most they had raised in a year and then After partnering with softgiving now They're making millions or they're They're getting millions of donations a Year uh so that that's quite interesting So that specific stream I want to Clarify here that we don't have like Drill internal accounting of softgiving To know like what amount of money went Where again these are the questions I Still have personally what I can tell You is that the way that this worked and I want to just zoom out for a second Because I think this will help people

Understand is that okay so soft giving Actually there's kind of three entities Here that this money it is kind of Associated with so um soft giving would Essentially come in and They I have always kind of called them Privately a Matchmaker um they would Matchmake charity and an influencer Right so they had a lot of people that Just laid off a couple days ago were a Lot of these like influencer recruitment Type people who are very connected in Twitch or you know we'll reach out to Twitch streamers Etc um and you know Then there would also be charity man you Know charity management type folks that Would go and say hey Charity we want to Raise money for you right and um we I Have seen them offer deals to people That range anywhere from 0% to 50% Um up 250 uh the charity that showed me A a contract like that ultimately didn't Work with them in that capacity but they Essentially went you know we we want to Help you run your marketing for your Charity campaigns and we want to do just To be clear in that scenario the charity Would get 50% of the money of all of it Raised in a charity event and softgiving Would keep 50% for themselves for their Business expenses all that stuff to be Clear yes including including influencer Fees um and so uh yeah okay go ahead go

Ahead and then so and then they would go To the influencers and they would say Hey we want you to fund raise for this Charity um we'll pay you again amounts Vary but I've seen some of these emails So we'll pay you couple thousand bucks Here I've seen once as big as you know More than $30,000 like $30,000 base pay With much higher incentives based off of Brand Partnerships that they get for the Event sometimes they would go out and You know ask a brand partner like Compare.com is one of the ones that Worked with otk they're uh an insurance Company similar to like the zebra which May be a little bit more popular than Them where you go I want four different Car insurance quotes and I want to be Able to compare them all that's what That company does um and so you know Sometimes they get brand sponsors to Come in at this charity event um and They'd kind of put it all together and In an event and then the streamer would Go and they'd live stream and they'd Promote all this stuff and they'd Encourage their fans and you know the People watching to go donate um and That's kind of how this works now what's Happening on the back end is what a lot Of people I don't think understand even Today but didn't understand at all prior To our reporting is that when soft Gaming would build a web page that you

Know has total amount raised a little Bit description and logos kind of saying This is what we're fundraising for and Have like a box that basically says Here's the top people who have donated In the amounts that they have donated um And people would be able to you know put In their credit card and and or their PayPal account and donate money right There um what is actually happening There is so the payment processor a Company called brain tree they're a Subsidiary PayPal they're pretty common They take like a three% haircut I think Or so that's like industry standard for Everyone right like that that's no Different than any other payment Processor where your money is actually Going at that point is to a another Charity called the Ginga foundation and The Ginga Foundation who I had the Opportunity to speak to one of their PR Reps during the reporting of this story Uh the Ginga Foundation Is functionally a technology company Called Ginga and they have a charity That manages this people could sign up For uh you know businesses could sign up To basically use their services and Create what are called Donor advised Funds this is very complicated but I Spoke to a lot of professors in my Reporting who better educated me on These things um and so you would donate

And the money would go to the Ginga Foundation that immediately gives you a Tax deductible receipt right so if you Now donate a bunch of money you can Write it off on your taxes as you can Within a charity and then the Ginga Foundation softgiving would use their Software to basically determine the Split right and and how it wants to be Pay out paid out a portion of that would Go to them we obviously now know that Was 42% aggregate between 2020 and 2021 According to the tax records and 46% in 2022 um in my more recent reporting Because the IRS put out some new tax Records a couple weeks ago uh after my First story uh And then the Ginga Foundation would make A grant to the actual charity it was Supposed to be going to so in this case Games for love and to what you were Saying earlier yes games for love had Never uh prior to working with Softgiving had never raised more than $50,000 in a single calendar year and Now um while we're here I'll even look At it because I think I have it open in Another tab in 2021 uh according to nonprofit Explorer Which is the you know it's a aggregate Of information um in 2021 Gamester love Revenue was and this is after all the Cut expenses by the way gamster Love's Revenue was 1.13 million and so they

Went from having never raised more than 50,000 in 2019 to 1.13 million in 2021 And 641 th000 in 2022 um and softgiving I mean they obviously they're you know There I gota be careful with my words But obviously there's a lot going on Behind the scenes but at least for Marketing they did an amazing job for For that fantastic job yeah I mean if You're if you're games are love this is A great deal for you even if you know Even if it is a significant percentage Again I we don't know the specific Percentage of what because soft giving Worked with a bunch of Charities so we Don't know kind of which ones they took More money from than others um but we Know kind of what they took broadly Thanks to the tax records right um but Yeah if your games are well this is Great you just went from $50,000 2019 to 1.13 million in 2021 that's a huge jump In a two-year window um and that 1.3 Million that they made do you know how Much they Raised against that I don't know the Specific number um I did some aggregate Uh like I basically went and looked at All their fundraising streams from Twitch streamers made sure that they Were you know directed towards soft Giving donation pages and not through Another platform uh the number is close To 2 million um and I may be missing

Some to be clear but you know I'm only Looking at what I can find which some of The internet's not forever so I'm Looking at tweets I'm looking at twitch Like vods that are still available you Know twitch tracker stream titles right Like uh looking looking at YouTube Videos for those things I'm bundling Kind of all those together but my raw Estimate is somewhere around $2 million That's that's a huge percentage of People who thought you know they're Donating to a charity and it ends up Just going to uh these various other Expenses for softgiving and the uh Influencers as well I know I I've done Some look into uh different charities And it seems that generally a charity Shouldn't be taking more than 10% of the Total charity amount per year because People many people may not know but when You donate a charity obviously these Charities have employees that they have To pay as well but a a Good Charity I Think like make A- Wish Foundation takes About 10% of the total charity amount They they uh to pay their employees and Then about 90% is going to actually go To helping uh whatever they do in this Case all of the uh the Charities that um Soft giving is working with it seems Like significantly less is going towards Helping people so the two things about This uh so what you just described is

Called the dollar demission ratio is the Sort of charitable language right how Much of your dollar goes to your mission Right so how much of it goes to like Programs that you're running or donating To other charities in the case of pass Through foundations um that is the big Argument and this is I highlighted this In in the first sort of section of my Article after the introduction um but This is something I immediately talked About because this is an argument that Even actually the CEO of softgiving Matt Fcra um has gotten into publicly uh Because He publicly has supported the ideology Of a guy named Dan P um Dan ran in the 90s and the early 2000s the AIDS ride And this is essentially a fundraising Event around several fundraising events Around the US in major cities both East Coast and West Coast um to bicycle Riding to benefits a research and um Dan P uh was sort of eventually driven out Of the charitable industry because the It came out how much was actually not Going to charity and I believe the final Eighth ride that ever happened which I Believe is in 2002 2003 you can look it Up um took I think about 83% uh was Spent not on charity 177% went to Charity um so that clearly I think There's some inspiration there um Matt Has taken some inspiration based off of

What he said publicly from Dan uh I Don't know if they know each other but I Know that Matt has shared some of Dan's Like Ted Talk Etc about you know how Charity should be able to use um Significant amounts of money to Market Themselves if it's increasing uh Donations right which in this case it Certainly is we just went over the gamst For love thing it is increasing Donations very Significantly um so that's part one part Two is how this was done and this is Really crucial how this was done would Not make it immediately obvious to the Naked eye right so a thirdparty watchdog Site like charity Navigator or charity Watch would look at a games for love and They look like one of the best Charities On gods Green Earth because they if you Look at their tax filings it says zero Dollar in fundraising expenses um their Expenses look extremely minimal uh other Than their programs which again this is What you're actually donating charity For what they're doing and and Gamester Love is a foundation that essentially Was taking or essentially takes and Gives provides like um video game Related therapy you know bringing Consoles into hospitals etc for Terminally ill children um that is what Gamester love does and you look at their Tax records and they're amazing I don't

Think that they've ever been scored by Charity Navigator or charity watch but Like if they were they would get really Good flying colors because the money is Being actually raised through the Ginga Foundation and the Ging Foundation is Doing the payouts to soft giving and to The actual charity it was meant to go To what the actual charity receives and Revenue is mostly spent on programs um And that's why another part of why this Was so important I think really the Story was really important for two Reasons one to just like inform donors Because it's clear to me that the donors Did not know for three and a half years You know basically since this started Happening more and more in early 2020 is When most of this began from what I can Tell um and then part two I think was Also because some of the Charities Involved like technically they didn't Spend any money on fundraising expenses But they kind of did because it came out Of the donation pool so it it wasn't Particularly transparent none of this Was transparent and that's why the story Meant you know meant a lot to me so Games for love do you know how much they Had to do they have to pay softgiving or Or does soft giving just take a Percentage or how does that work work I'm not sure the exact relationship Between them and softgiving um I have

Seen contracts that soft giving has Offered to other Charities so there's One charity that spoke to me on the Record called stackup which is a a Veteran a veteran in active duty Military um charity benefiting those Folks um and stackup was offered twice Uh two different times uh 5050 deals Where it was uh 50-50 deals minus uh Influencer fees so essentially you know Throw the pot of money donate The influencer fee comes off the top Because sof givings essentially pay Would in this scenario would pay it up Front right um and then they would Reimburse themselves out of the donation Pool and then they would take half and Then they would put half towards Stack Up um so i' I've seen templated Contracts of that that they offered to Stackup stackup never signed them so It's not clear to me how much how the Relationship Works between soft giving And every single charity and I know There are some Charities where I don't Think they took almost any percentage Because you know it they don't have that Kind of working relationship with the Charity they're just benefiting the Charity right uh they they had two Different types of programs one called Hero anyone could fund raise there's no Payment to the streamer you just start You know you could sign you or me could

Sign up and start streaming through that Today um and they would take soft given Claims that it took 0% of platform fees For that service um I have no other you Know no reason to not believe that um And then there was the events one which Is this is where they're taking on the Marketing elements and that that's you Know where I think the bulk of the money Came from based off of what we know um So I don't have specifics on what their Each individual charity agreement is and I think each one looks a little Different um you know different Percentages different payouts they told Me one time that uh soft giving told me One time that they uh you know only like 2% of the Charities they worked with Were on a commission basis meaning they Got you know paid a percentage and the Rest were essentially paying a platform Fee for their services or paying an Upfront fee for their services I don't Have any reason to not believe that Either uh but what I can say is if a lot Of the money was you know being raised For the commission-based Charities it Doesn't matter if it's 2% of the Charities they work with if they work With hundreds of them and you're Focusing on the few that are on that Agreement you know that type of Agreement then obviously the money is You know going going uh being split very

Significantly and again I I've asked a Lot of questions to them and I'd still Like to talk to them they're suing me But at the same time I have continually Reached out I reached out this week when They made the layoffs Um I've reached out multiple times over The past few weeks and I would still be Open to speaking to them they've never Given the opportunity for me to get on The phone with them ever um they've sent Me a media brief during my reporting Which was like a Google doc of kind of You know their sort of cherry-picked Facts here and there um they you know They claim that the reason they don't Want to speak to me is because something I said to the CEO of games for love when I was trying to get some of this Information when I spoke to him um and But at the same time the CEO of Softgiving Matt fcra was continually at The end of 2021 when I was had started Working on this continually like we had Meetings and interviews set up and he Was just cancelling and cancelling he Was telling me his father was sick that There was some family issues back in Iowa that he was having to travel to Home for during you know from Georgia Which is where he lives um and I just There was just no transparency here with Me and and actually Matt very frequently When someone would call them out on

Social media uh Matt would say you know Let's hop out on about this and none of Those people would ever get on the phone With him so it's there was just a Significant lack of transparency and That's why we thought this story was so Important all right so let me go ahead And just play a devil's advocate here For softgiving for a second uh what many People don't know is a lot of these um Influencers they don't actually do these Charity streams for free and they Actually require a fee in order to do a Charity stream and many people will be Like hey that's uh really screwed up you Shouldn't be doing that you should be Doing charity streams for free but That's just just how it works um within The organization it works with Celebrities as well many of these Companies many of these excuse me many Of these organ uh charity streams you'll See on TV can can spend millions of Dollars up front in the hope to make Millions more through the charity event So say a giant stream on TV or a giant Event on TV charity stream might spend $10 million for the event and then They'll bring in $20 million in Donations so they made $1 million in Profit now some people think that's Really stupid but that's how some Charities that's how some organizations Do it so is it possible that softgiving

The 42% that you claim they take is it Possible that hey that's just what they Needed to take in order to compensate The streamers that were getting a Getting an expense getting paid to do These charity Streams totally possible um I think the Crucial thing when you compare it to What else happens in you know Hollywood And elsewhere um is disclosure and Wording right uh you mentioned earlier The the Pokemon unboxing stream that otk Did uh asmin gold opens that stream by Saying you know the cards in these boxes Will be going to you and the money we Raise will be going to games for love so Guys uh obviously this is going to be Part two of our charity event here we're Obviously giving away a ton of different Stuff uh the money that we raised today Is going to go towards games for love uh Many of you guys probably have seen our Streams doing uh charity for them before But if you haven't already I will go Ahead and briefly explain what your Money is going towards and what it's Going to be able to do that's not the Same as saying a portion of donations Will go to Games For Love or a portion You know again wording is really Important and the whole reason story Matters is transparency I I don't think There would have been a story if it was Just hey there was proper disclosure on

The web pages right it's right there Donors can make up their minds um and They can decide for themselves uh the Streamers were vocalizing this right um And I don't want to assign Mal intent to Anyone I'm also not an attorney there's Not a criminal case around this that Says you know that they violated any Sort of FTC guideline or anything right Around advertising disclosure um that's Not like what I'm here for um but I Think the story would be very different If if people had been upfront but I also Think by the way and again I don't know People's intent I'm not talk to otk not Talk to softgiving I don't know what They've told streamers what you know What they should be saying what they Should be disclosing I haven't seen that Um but I will say I also think I have Talked to a few donors who are extremely Angry after my article came out um and Probably would not have donated if they Knew the truth right if they knew how Much was going you know how it was split Who was being paid um so what you said Is totally feasible that like this you Know this had to happen um but I think What's really important is that the Donor wasn't in the loop and that's why It matters yeah okay so I want to talk Um about uh the Hassan stream for the Turkey earthquake I don't remember was That 2022 or 2023 2023 February 2023

Right so there was a big earthquake uh In turkey and he did a stream he was Orig he's originally from Turkey did a Stream to raise a bunch of money he used Soft giving I believe he raised over a Million dollars is that correct he did And during the event this document uh Was leaked online by someone that showed That apparently softgiving was going to Take 50% of all the donations from that Stream and that he he received massive Backlash when that happened a bunch of People I think whiz khif there was some Celebrity was like I wouldn't have Donated I was going to donate a bunch of Money I wouldn't done it ISO speed yeah ISO speed he was like I was not going to Donate if I found out that half the Money is going to go to this company Instead of actually helping people in Turkey his son perer is taking all the Money for himself he lives in a mansion All the money is going to him so he can Buy a new pool for his Mansion yo CH What is going on speed it's a scam I am Being it's a scam bro I don't oh my god Dog y'all see look bro I don't I don't Know who I just I hate it these people Are so [ __ ] desperate to vilify me That they like even even when I'm trying To raise money for a cause actively they Like go and harm the fundraising efforts Like there are literally [ __ ] people Under Rubble right now there are people

That are currently trying to survive Under Rubble they might not make it over The course of the next 24 hours and Instead of instead of turning around and Being like yeah maybe this time we Should just let it go we should just let Us on do his thing they just they went And actively undermined isow speed and Stopped him from donating $50,000 he was Like I'm going to donate $50,000 to this We've raised a lot of money I will Donate more money as well It ultimately Doesn't matter but like it's so crazy That like this is how far [ __ ] Go they stopped them from donating $50,000 they said it was a scam so can You talk a little bit about that and I Think that document uh I I somebody came Out and said that that document was not The that all of the donations eventually Went to turkeys so can you go over that Yeah that was me that said that it all The donations went to tur the turkey and Syria uh fundraising for care it's the Charity that was on the receiving end There um so I had been reporting on this Story for by that point almost two years Uh started in May of 2021 this happened In February 2023 the reason that we had Not published sooner is because we Didn't have the tax documents right and This is a very difficult story uh and I Wanted to be certain I wanted to be a Good reporter and I wanted to have I

Wanted to be buttoned up the actual tax Records that appear in our story were Not published until November of 2023 uh Because the IRS has been extremely Backed up uh because of the pandemic Like the this is not just affecting Charities it's affecting everyone um That you know it's taking longer and Longer for the IRS to get through droves Of income tax returns Etc um a lot of Different reasons for that uh so this Stream happened in February uh exactly For the reason that you said there was An earthquake in turkey and Syria uh Hassan raised wanted to raise money for It he had previously raised money in a 2022 event um for abortion uh abortion Funds for pro pro choice funds um and he Wanted to raise it he teamed up with Softgiving and basically the day after He said he wanted to do this they were Live with the campaign um and exactly as You mentioned Joshua Balin who is a Codefendant in the lawsuit against me I Don't know Josh uh me nor Hunter the Other reporter have ever met Josh we've Never spoken to him online or offline no Relationship with him at all um this was As much of a shock to me as it was to Everyone else um he posted a aaked Document that was A reportedly a templated agreement that Softgiving had offered to a charity and It said exactly what you said it is uh

50% 5 would go to he's the one that Leaked that document yes and he he's the One that's also suing you or he's being Sued he's being sued so the the lawsuit Is me and four other defendants and he Is one of them okay um and uh he Published this leaked document and it Like I said it says that softgiving Would take % um of donations uh after expenses so Influencer expenses on top um and it Caused a meltdown a bunch of people uh Including ashua speed accused Hassan of Being a scammer and that this was the Situation and that he was you know Accused Assan of knowing and accused Assan of taking the money for himself a Bunch of other very vile things um and He had a a public meltdown on stream and On Twitter it was really bad and like Horrific to watch uh um in the end Ultimately uh his manager tells me uh And I've known his manager for many Years even before he worked with hisan Uh his manager tells me that they Received receipts that basically showed That all the money minus like that Traditional standard transaction for you Know the 3% or whatever from brain tree That all the money went to to care which Is the charity that it was benefiting That was doing Sia and turkey earthquake Relief um but this was the first time in February 2023

I think the major public became aware of Who sof giving was um what they had what They had offered to a charity um and a Lot of people became very suspicious Very quickly uh a lot of other content Creators made stuff you know pieces About it at the time uh and I had been Reporting on it but I was really waiting For the tax documents that ultimately You know were published in November 2023 And and that's what prompted me to Finally pull the trigger on our story Sure and so after that whole event uh Soft giving got a ton of flak and I Believe within like a month or two they Rebranded to a new name so they're not Called Soft giving anymore now they're Called brand fluence is that correct That's right yeah and they say in the Lawsuit against me and the others that They were already doing this Pro like They had already planned to Rebrand I Don't know if that's true or not can't Say um but yes they rebranded I think Within a month or two okay and so I you Know I know with lawsuits you there's Some things can't talk about but Anything you can say they um so I guess They ended up suing you and several Other people after your report uh Claiming defamation and also that you Were working with other other like type Companies marketing companies like them And this was kind of like um you you

Were working for them to destroy their Company so these other companies could Could profit from it basically I guess Is what's happening what they're saying So one thing to correct you on there They actually sued me before my story Not after um so they had no idea what Tried to get you to stop publishing it Right I think that's correct um they Both in the actual lawsuit itself and a Letter which they I published which they Sent attached to you know they emailed All of us with the the lawsuit um and in A letter written by their attorney uh Larry coonan um uh who practiced in Georgia um basically demanded we not Publish this article um and we very Quickly within a day retained First Amendment Council uh like you know People who are very uh familiar with Reporting you know representing Journalists and dealing with First Amendment issues um who did legal review Of the story over a multi-day period and We ended up publishing the following Week um The uh they are suing just to summarize The lawsuit um they are claiming that uh And I've never I've reported on a lot of Lawsuits including defamation lawsuits I've never seen this uh in a defamation Lawsuit um they are essentially claiming That we conspired that me and four Others and I want to go over who the

Four others are because I think that Will be helpful so obviously me Independent journalist uh with you know A long track record of being ethically Above ground not like I've been Criticized for being a lot of different Things no one has ever hit me on my Ethics uh because I'm very very kind of Buttoned up and like hard-nosed about my Ethics I take it very seriously um the Other four defendants are uh Alysa Sweetman Alyssa is the former I'm not sure her exact title uh I'm sure I could go look it up but essentially She was the liaison for charitable uh Related activity at twitch for many Years she worked at twitch um she's no Longer there they Su they sued someone That worked for twitch yes she is one of The codefendants and and then the uh There are two other individuals in one Corporation so the other individual is Or one of the other individuals is Michael waserman who is the CEO of a Company called tiltify who are a company They're a tech company software company That they're not a marketing agency they Don't do what brandful and/ softgiving Did um but they provide a tech platform For streamers to be able to fundraise For Charities and I went over a little Bit in the story of how their stuff Works but Essentially um anyone you and I again

You or I could go sign up for a tiltify Account I've raised through tiltify Years ago they didn't help me with any Of that I just did it on my own I raised I think for uh the Humane Society of Greater New York or whatever um when I Was living in New York City uh and they Give you like the widgets that you can Put in OBS or streamlabs and then you Know show how donation counter how much People have donated the way that they Work is they you know a charity pays Them a monthly or an annual fee to set You know allow this to work with their Software and then they take anywhere From three and a half to 5% of those Donations all in all if you donate Through a tiltify campaign no more than 10% is taken because you've got the like 3% or 4% from Amazon pay or stripe or PayPal plus the three and a half to 5% That they take for their services and Then the money and the money they never Touch the money right that that's part Of why the softgiving situation is so Abnormal according to the people I spoke To professors other Charities Etc it's Because it goes through a third party it Goes through genga which is weird um According to them uh so tilli it Actually just goes straight to the Charity right the the money is deducted As as an expense they like agreed on it There's contract that exists when a

Charity signs up for til ofi um and you Know then the money comes out all this Is disclosed you can read about all this It's you know mostly mostly above board Um so they're suing Michael werman who's The CEO and founder of tiltify and They're suing tteri itself the company Um and then the last defendant is Joshua Belin who uh I believe Joshua's Currently works at devolver digital the Game publisher but Joshua used to work At tiltify as a software engineer um and And uh he is the one as I mentioned that Published The League contract um that in Around the husan thing that kind of Started that entire controversy and Again I don't know Joshua so um they are Claiming in their lawsuit that we Conspired that it was a civil conspiracy With one another to take them down I Deny those allegations I had no abnormal Conversations with any of the other Defendants uh you know Alyssa and I said This in the story Alyssa and Michael Were sources for this story they Actually Michael specifically did not Want to talk about softgiving in my Story the questions that I asked Michael Were specifically about tiltify and how It worked because I needed that Information to compare and contrast how These things usually work in this Industry right and tiltify is like the Biggest one twitch now has its own tool

But at the time they didn't T I was like The one that everybody in this industry Used and so I needed to understand how They worked and I went and asked him a Bunch of questions about it he did not Want to talk about his competitors um And then Alyssa uh I also interviewed Her but like any Source like you were Doing with me right now I'm not going to Get to do pre-publication review of your Video right you you do whatever you want To do with your video same goes for me They didn't get any special access to my Documents they didn't get any special Access to my story they're we were not Working in Tangent with one another they Were people that I interviewed once for This story people that I have like Bumped into at major events and just Said hello to and like have known just Because they work in the same industry As me but there is no civil conspiracy Uh here to defame anyone um and if you Look at the lawsuit itself uh nothing I Have said is defamatory um on a personal Level again I can't speak for them I Don't know uh what they've said and What's true and what isn't but I do know That nothing I have said is defamatory And they suit me prior to the Publication of the story so it doesn't Even you know it's not even covering the Contents of the Story and I I we actually talked uh

Beforehand so you're are you you don't Seem too worried about the Lawsuit journalists uh face lawsuits Pretty frequently um defamation lawsuits They are very serious obviously I do Take this very seriously um I have very Good representation uh to handle this Lawsuit um I believe in them they Believe in me which is why they're Representing me um and I look forward to Beating the lawsuit and in court this Feels very much like a traditional slap Suit uh which you know I take very Seriously but also I'm glad that I have The assistant that I have okay and in Just in the past I think week or so you Actually reached out and told me that Softgiving SL now brand fluence Apparently they laid off a big Percentage of their Workforce is that Correct that's right so I I haven't Published anything about this yet Because I'm waiting um I have some Things I'd like to verify before I put Them in public again doing my due Diligence here um I've written one story About them since uh the first one and I'm planning to write another about These layoffs um so the one I've written Since is that the uh IRS has published The 2022 tax records for the ganga Foundation and those tax records show That softgiving allegedly were Compensated uh 46% of donations um in

2022 um and then yes this week earlier This week on Monday as far as I Understand I've seen more than 15 social Media posts on Twitter and Linkedin from Employees uh basically saying that they Were let go um this ranges from people That worked with brands people that Worked with influencers Etc um and I This week on Tuesday I reached out to The CEO of soft softgiving brence and Essentially asked hey why did this Happen how many people still work there What's the future of the company he told Me he was going to get back to me today I've not heard from him today so uh and Today's Wednesday so um I'm waiting to Verify some information that I have like I'm waiting to hear back from a couple People uh but I intend to publish Something on that as well okay well I Mean this is a a really interesting Story I I I don't Understand um I it just doesn't make Sense to me why a company would take so Much money from a Char like you know People expect their money when they're Donating for charity funds to be helping People and almost half of it allegedly Is going towards softgiving and or brand Influence it just seems really really Scummy to me you said I think you said Otk is still continuing to work with Them that's actually really Disappointing to me I'm I'm actually a

Big fan of asmin gold I've watched a lot Of his videos and um you said you've Reached out to them many times and They've never tried to tried to get in Contact with you that's that's really Unfortunate to hear yeah I've uh I've Tried to reach out to them at least 10 Times over the past two and a half years Um I like I said I have friends that Work there um I really respect them too Uh that they're my neighbors up the Street but they're all they all live 15 Minutes from me I live in Austin they Live not far away I'm not going to dox Them because I know exactly where they Live but they're not very far away from Where I am and so uh you know the Austin Streaming Community is and Gaming Community is pretty small and it uh I Wish they would speak to me um I have Nothing against them and asmin gold has Uh called me a loser on his stream and Compared me to a dog uh some uge Allegations be made about about against You and otk streamers well who gives a [ __ ] somebody makes an allegation Against me and now somehow I have to Respond to It No I don't have to say Anything oh a big allegation oh no oh Wow who gives a [ __ ] what am I gonna am I going to sit Here like and try to oh I'm going to try

To defend myself and explain it to People no there's no reason to's the Truth right is that I look at a lot of People like this I look at them like uh Like Dogs and the more that you try to prove Them wrong in the same way that the more That you try to pull a toy out of a Dog's mouth the harder the dog is going To bite down on that Toy and at the end of the day the people That try to accuse me of doing this kind Of Stuff have already made a their mind That I'm a piece of [ __ ] so I'm never going to be able to Just like explain to them why I'm not a Piece of [ __ ] and them to be Like of Course um for just doing my job uh which Is again kind of disappointing to hear That but um I've tried to reach out and I tried to give them the opportunity to Speak about this before we publish the Story multiple times um I don't know What more I could have done honestly I Just never got to response um I think The first time I reached out was September of 2021 I went back and looked At my old messages and I've reached out Many times since then including like Days before we published I was reaching Out um So uh yeah I and yes you correct uh they

They last time that they worked with Brand fluence I think was May or June of 2023 they did a weightlifting stream With them for games for love was the Charity that it was benefiting um and That was after the Hassan [ __ ] thing Earlier in the year so uh people I think Were already very skeptical of of Bren And SL off giving um and uh they've Continued to work with them okay I don't Know what they still do today by the way But that that's here nor there I I don't Know what that relationship looks like You know and we're speaking in January 2024 I don't know but I do know that They worked with them uh in in summer of 2020 or 2023 all right and I guess this would Just be speculation but like why would After everything that's come out all the Bad press and everything and you know Taking 42% why would people continue why Would these streamers continue to work With brand influence when you've shown That there's other options available Twitch has their own built-in system now That you said that takes significantly Less of the charity money so why Continue to work with this this company That allegedly according to you uh is Taking a massive amount of the charity Charity Funds I want to be careful speculating Um but

I I think That the What I will say is I have seen a Streamer agreement a sign streamer Agreement not with otk's people but with Another streamer big streamer um that Has a lifetime non-disclosure agreement In it basically NDA that lasts forever And uh I Speculating I would Be I would not be surprised if the otk Relationship has something similar uh Where you cannot speak about it and I Think that might be the real reason They're not talking to me or anyone else Um about this and have' been very koyi About it you know miss gif has said I Don't give a [ __ ] basically like Straight up when somebody asked him on His stream and Asen gold is again Personally attacked me uh as well um and Again I have no I just want to make it Really clear I Got No Malice in my heart For anyone in this story I don't have Malice for brand fluence I don't have Malice for their CEO I don't have malice For ATK I don't have malice for any of The streamers I like try to do my due Diligence to reach out to everybody I'm Thankful that lwig and XC and the T Sisters and Alon Show's agent spoke to Me and that Hassan's manager spoke to me I'm glad I'm very thankful that all

These people took the time to to talk to Me about this and how forthcoming many Of them were um even though I would Imagine some of them might have ndas Also um but I think they felt it was Important to speak about this right and Deal with the repercussions later um so To me uh I think that there's an Existing working relationship there um And I speculate and again I want to be Careful but I think like I wouldn't be Surprised if otk was paid some Significant sum of money uh to do these Events in the past maybe even do the one More recently right this past summer and Summer 2023 just speculation uh but the Trend here is that these big streamers Get paid a lot of money to do these Things um so my guess would be that's Why uh but I also believe and I haven't Went and looked at this but maybe you Can for for your actual video um I Believe that since that summer stream The weightlifting stream in question for Games for love I think members of otk Someone has said this to me and I just Haven't looked because it's not really Important right now um members of otk Have worked have used tiltify for other Charity events they've done in 2023 After that one um so again I I don't Know what their relationship looks like With softgiving brand fluence um but if

That's true if they have still toy for Other other events other fundraisers um Take from that what you will okay all Right so just to be clear here um Obviously you know this is uh a sick Sticky situation because they have sued You and I want to point out I'm not Making any allegations this video I'm Just having a conversation here with Jacob so hopefully I don't get suit as Well but um I I did actually reach out To softgiving I've I've given them an Option to talk to me if they want to as Of right now as of filming this I I Haven't heard anything back from them But could change in the future I'm Interested in hearing all sides of the Story uh but today we heard your side of The story and what what you said I'll Have a link below to your article for People who want to watch that and I want To give you I want to give you the final Word is there anything I didn't cover in Your story that you want to talk about I Don't think so we got through most of it Um thank you for uh sharing my work and And having me on to talk about it um Really really important I mean I I've Covered the gaming industry for a decade And I am a big believer that um it needs Gaming and nerd culture you know people That cover Marvel and DC and other Things and uh the Creator economy so Twitch YouTube Stars Etc um all these

Things are all three of those topics are Extremely undercovered just not enough People you know to journalists YouTubers That you know like yourself like uh some Ordinary gamers and coffeezilla and you Know the others that kind of do a little Bit more investigative type work um There's not enough of these people uh And I'm a big believer that we need more Of them um so thank you for um reaching Out to me and having me on and talk About it and yeah and giving me a Platform appreciate it yeah absolutely It was a really interesting story to Cover so hopefully I can shed some more Light on it thanks for coming on Jacob Thank you

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