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Correcting myths about NationBuilder

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Because the world is politically charged, and we have thousands of political customers, misinformation is often spread about NationBuilder. Here are some corrections to various inaccuracies. 


We do not support Donald Trump, or any particular candidate.

NationBuilder is the most used, affordable, and accessible platform for political campaigns in the world. We do not discriminate, and in fact, it is our mission to serve everyone, including campaigns that are competing against each other. So we can't -- and don't -- choose sides. In the 2016 U.S. general election, over 3,000 candidates up and down the ballot from every party used NationBuilder, including 4 of the 5 presidential candidates -- Gary Johnson (Libertarian), Jill Stein (Green), Donald Trump (Republican) and Evan McMullin (Independent/#nevertrump). In the 2017 French presidential elections, 7 candidates used NationBuilder. In the Brexit referendum, both sides used NationBuilder. Dozens of political parties worldwide use NationBuilder, along with thousands of nonprofits, universities, and businesses. 


NationBuilder is not affiliated with Cambridge Analytica.

NationBuilder is not a consultancy and does not do advertising or message testing. Cambridge Analytica aggregates large sets of data and then helps their clients identify how to best retarget people based on their psychographic profiling through online advertising. This is the opposite of both our mission and our business model. Our business model is software as a service, not selling people’s data to advertisers or aggregating customer data for resale. With NationBuilder, your data is yours (and yours alone).


You are not helping your opponent by using NationBuilder. 

In fact, the opposite is true. Having an organized community gives you an advantage. The concept of community organizing has been around for thousands of years. Moses was a community organizer. The tools of organizing should not be controlled by anyone. The organizing technology that we’re building at NationBuilder is helping people come together to support the leaders and the causes they believe in. It’s not a weapon to wield; it’s infrastructure that’s enabling democracy.


We do not share customer data with anyone. 

We give each and every customer a completely separate, secure, and self-contained database. We have put an extraordinary amount of effort to build the infrastructure to support this. The sanctity of our customer’s data is core to our company. The idea that we would share it with anyone is absurd. If we did it would put an immediate end to our business. If customers want to share their data, that's up to them. 


We have always been nonpartisan.

Numerous news articles have claimed that NationBuilder was originally partisan. In 2012, and Salsa, originally partisan platforms, became nonpartisan. The press lumped us into that narrative, despite the fact that we've always been nonpartisan. This is at the very core of our values. And this article - which was written on NationBuilder's launch date - is evidence that it's always been this way. 


We do not have an "exclusive" deal with the RSLC or any organization.

It has been reported in Politico that we have an "exclusive deal" with the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC). This is not true. We are a nonpartisan software provider. We sell our software to political groups of all persuasions in countries all over the world. We do not enter into exclusive contracts of any kind with any of our customers. And we never issued a press release on this topic although one was cited by multiple publications. 


Joe Green did not create NationBuilder.

It has been reported in various news sources that Joe Green is the "founder" or "creator" of NationBuilder. These statements are inaccurate. Jim Gilliam wrote the first line of code for NationBuilder in October of 2009. More than two years later in March 2012, Joe Green joined NationBuilder as co-founder and president. He left that role 11 months later in February of 2013.

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