In a surprise move, Patreon has fired their entire security department, consisting of five employees. The news first broke after a former employee posted a short update on their LinkedIn profile.
The news was later confirmed by Ellen Satterwhite, the interim communications official from Patreon in a short statement:
As a global platform, we will always prioritize the security of our creators’ and customers’ data. As part of a strategic shift of a portion of our security program, we have parted ways with five employees. We also partner with a number of external organizations to continuously develop our security capabilities and conduct regular security assessments to ensure we meet or exceed the highest industry standards. The changes made this week will have no impact on our ability to continue providing a secure and safe platform for our creators and patrons.Ellen Satterwhite posting on Discord yesterday at 7:29 PM EST
The news reportedly came as a shock to the laid-off staff, according to various discussions on Twitter. We recently reported on Patreon’s identity verification, which will be outsourced to Jumio. It seems that Patreon wants to continue shifting more of its operations to third-party platforms in what’s described above as a “strategic shift”. Removing platform security from in-house to a third party seems in line with that new paradigm.
Patreon is one of the more well-known creator-centred platforms (OnlyFans among them) which has laid off staff in recent months. Whether the “strategic shift” to rely on third-party support for something as crucial as platform security will pay off in the future remains to be seen.
In response to questions, Patreon has clarified that it has not laid of their entire internal security staff and that a majority of Patreon’s engineers is still working on platform security.