Monday, August 06, 2018

More on social media "GoFundMe" campaigns; beware that "enemy of the people" comes out of Communism

I just wanted to make a note about fundraisers on social media, a topic I’ve mentioned before. If I sound a little bit of a Scrooge on this one, too bad.

On Aug. 1, I had run a story link from the Washington Post on my “IT Jobs” blog about a (legal) immigrant who was sending money back home to Sierra Leone, but who got fired when accused of asking for tips in a job where she was dependent on them. I have started a practice of donating to a fundraiser for a person if there is one mentioned in an article, if it is still open and needs a contribution.

I did that on the GoFundMe for the person that the story mentioned.  Today I get a somewhat “rude” email saying “There is just one more thing to do” and telling me to link to their page on Facebook to circulate the fundraiser to all Friends.

I generally don’t do that, because I see it as a “chain letter” and inappropriate to ask friends “for money” for multiple causes.  Maybe I am having it both ways;  I think a “gofundme” link is like an embed, a hyperlink, but perceived as part of your site.  I have no objections to ads or other material being posted outside my timeline by Facebook ad or other aggregations.

Most of the time, if I want to make repeated donations, I’ll set it up on Wells Fargo through my trust, privately.

By the way, I did not hear about the situation with a particular Georgetown University freshman (GLBT blog) until Sunday. That one seems resolved.

In these situations, I will put the news story on Facebook and encourage the visitors to make up their own minds on contributions after actually reading the full news stories.

The exception would be, if the person’s situation or need was closely related to a matter or issue that I had already spent a lot of time on, and was prepared in some sense to “sponsor” or support the person long term.  It is conceivable that this can happen with a “special needs” person in the language of my trust (that has a rather narrow meaning legally).  But then it would probably be more appropriate to set up a separate FB page for the issue.  Facebook will have its own policies on these matters, which could be changing because of all of its issues.  I realize Facbook wants to see more personal interaction among its users, to offset the problem of news manipulation. But I don’t normally interpret Facebook or other social media relationship as a reason to manipulate other people into following my own “causes”;  that seems rude to me.  In my upbringing, I would not have seen that as appropriate behavior.

Likewise, when on the street, I’m not crazy about gratuitous fundraising by volunteers. This goes on so much that I rarely talk to “volunteers” for organizations on streets.  I do all this at home.
I wanted to take special exception to Donald Trump’s mention of the “enemy of the people” idea for journalists.  That may include bloggers and “watchers”.  But this is a very dangerous idea known mainly from Marxism and communism, and from far left wing movements of the past, where “the people” were supposed to use extra-legal means to expel persons who no longer belonged because they had gotten free rides and “watched” too long.  I guess Lot’s wife was an enemy of her people.

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