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(Slate)   A look at why the internet gives so much money to victims they don't even know   (slate.com) divider line 31
    More: Interesting, University of St Andrews  
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6533 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Mar 2013 at 10:11 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-11 09:21:09 AM
Because it allows people to feel like they're part of some greater, collective good without requiring them to actually do anything, commit anything, or think any further about it than the time it takes to press the submit button?
 
2013-03-11 10:13:43 AM
Where do i send the donation?
 
2013-03-11 10:19:28 AM
I send all my money to People for the Ethical Treatment of Extraterrestrials.
 
2013-03-11 10:25:38 AM
on one hand I want to say this is horrible, but on the other I know I give my money to child's play because I was once a sick kid in a hospital who was rescued from watching news and soap operas by Starfox 64.  Sure I could give money to feed kids in Africa (like the other victim in need of more crucial support), but I'd rather give it to someone going through something similar to my experiences.  Story just proves what we all know, people suck.  Even when trying to be nice.
 
2013-03-11 10:33:14 AM

Pocket Ninja: Because it allows people to feel like they're part of some greater, collective good without requiring them to actually do anything, commit anything, or think any further about it than the time it takes to press the submit button?


What he said,done in one, succinctly.
 
2013-03-11 10:38:06 AM
I just pray. Keeps my bank accounts at the same level.
 
2013-03-11 10:44:46 AM

Pocket Ninja: Because it allows people to feel like they're part of some greater, collective good without requiring them to actually do anything, commit anything, or think any further about it than the time it takes to press the submit button?


You should write for Slate. You summed up the answer in less than 40 words that the Slate writer could not in 2,000.

Stupid article.

Then again, considering several of his other offerings are about Downton Abbey, I suppose I should not have expected anything else.  (and it is Slate after all)
 
2013-03-11 10:47:31 AM

Pocket Ninja: Because it allows people to feel like they're part of some greater, collective good without requiring them to actually do anything, commit anything, or think any further about it than the time it takes to press the submit button?


I was thinking more along the lines of it allows instant gratification by providing a face and specific reason to who they are donating to instead of just giving money to a faceless charity/corporation. Same reason why some charities send you a picture of war orphans/animals for your donations.

Author seems to completely miss how "going viral" works by comparing Karen Klein to Lydia Tillman. It's okay, companies spend billions on marketing and still haven't figured it out either.
 
2013-03-11 10:54:28 AM
Because by giving money to complete strangers on the internet, it's still far more likely that some of the money will actually reach actual victims than if you give it to church-based charities, especially the big mega-'charities' you see continuously marketing on TV.
 
2013-03-11 11:04:22 AM

Pocket Ninja: Because it allows people to feel like they're part of some greater, collective good without requiring them to actually do anything, commit anything, or think any further about it than the time it takes to press the submit button?


That's it, thread's over. Everyone pack up, we're done here.
 
2013-03-11 11:13:45 AM
I think as the article has it right when it said that people donate because they feel guilty for harassing someone back in the day.

And all you farkers should send money to the people you've called fat and ugly via pictures and text on this website.


/but maybe it doesn't count if you don't say it directly to their face I guess.
 
2013-03-11 11:16:09 AM
Because P.T. Barnum, that's why.
 
2013-03-11 11:33:23 AM
yogan.meinungsverstaerker.de
 
2013-03-11 11:46:44 AM

Pocket Ninja: Because it allows people to feel like they're part of some greater, collective good without requiring them to actually do anything, commit anything, or think any further about it than the time it takes to press the submit button?


Probably not.

Like the article points out, there's a woman who was savagely raped, beaten, put in a coma, etc, who's indigogo campaign was only looking for money to cover the cost of surgery that would allow her to eat solid food again, and it was barely funded at 65k.  Not that 65k is a small amount, but why give 700k to a woman who was bullied, and less than a 10'th of that to a woman who was beaten, subjected to much more horrific abuse, and nearly died?  Why the disparity?

Two reasons:
   1  - We are more sympathetic to people who we share traits and experiences with
   2  - More of us can relate to being bullied than being beaten nearly to death.

When we donate to these causes, we are often role-taking, the money we're donating is not for the declared victim, it's being paid to the victim we were in the past.  When we know others are there too, we gain an implicit sense of community, and a strong competitive sense of 'us vs. them', even when 'them' is not a person.

That's why the internet as a whole has problems funding a charity for the families of soldiers killed in battle, but can summon up vast financial reserves for a sick cat or video games for a hospital play area.

Sure there's a useless thrill of clicking a 'like', and a more substantial 'I did something good' for those who donate, but it's nothing compared to the sense of belonging and self-justification for those who can relate to the beneficiaries of the charity.
 
2013-03-11 11:59:06 AM

RockofAges: Pocket Ninja: Because it allows people to feel like they're part of some greater, collective good without requiring them to actually do anything, commit anything, or think any further about it than the time it takes to press the submit button?

You still have to, you know, donate money. Not taking away from your point, which is valid, but I follow your point up to the actual time when money gets transferred.

At that point, it's not just a Facebook post or a stupid Avaaz petition -- it's money. It talks. BS walks.

So yes, it's easier to donate via Paypal than it is to donate via cheque, but it's harder to donate via paypal than it is to dig in your pocket for a quarter for a panhandler.

I personally think it's because you can tailor your donating patterns to charities that suit your personal interests much more easily (you may not share a commonality with a panhandler or even empathize -- I do -- but gamers are going to donate to Child's Play and feel good about it.)


Of course it's still money and talks while BS walks. If it wasn't then people wouldn't get that shot of reward chemicals in the brain from being helpful.

Donating stuff to Goodwill is also great.

In either case, though, it's not the same as dedicating time and energy to actually helping people. There's no real sacrifice involved. None of these folks are giving anything up to help out somebody else other than the brief time it takes to hit the submit button or drop off a bunch of clothes they were already done with.

Yeah, 20 bucks is still 20 bucks. Childs Play is great, no argument. It's still exactly as PocketNinja described, though. The vast majority of people don't go to a Child's Play dinner and build houses for homeless kids or discuss plans for how they're going to set aside some time to play their particular skills for the greater charitable benefit of children in need of games, they sit and eat and have a good time because Gabe & Tycho are awesome.
 
2013-03-11 12:17:01 PM
StaleCoffee:

Yeah, 20 bucks is still 20 bucks. Childs Play is great, no argument. It's still exactly as PocketNinja described, though. The vast majority of people don't go to a Child's Play dinner and build houses for homeless kids or discuss plans for how they're going to set aside some time to play their particular skills for the greater charitable benefit of children in need of games, they sit and eat and have a good time because Gabe & Tycho are awesome.

I am actually more pleased picking the toys/games than I do for having done the charity.  Of the few hands on charities I've done, most weren't that rewarding.  I coached a kids B-Ball team and the kids were going to have fun whether I was there or not.  One kid punched me and openly discussed how his mom thought I was an idiot (I believed that she probably did, how do I reach these keeeds!).  The other I ended up cleaning a Youth Center, which if I had just given money and they subbed it they would have done a better job and gotten paid.

Money is still a sacrifice technically, and what charity is going to say no?  And sometimes that money goes to people who already have skills necessary to do the job right.

/what evs, people who give money clearly aren't being selfish a-holes.  If one wants to believe that to feel better about themselves for not doing it then go ahead.  I'm not exactly able to hop on a jet for Haiti relief, but hey I could give money to pay for medical supplies.
 
2013-03-11 12:27:32 PM
I give to the Human Fund at least once a year.
 
2013-03-11 12:28:55 PM
It may be that in America, we have a cultural distrust of organizations. In other words, giving money directly to the victim is an effort that is not wasted, no matter how redundant the effort, while the same can't be said of giving money to a non-profit that combats a problem. It would be interesting to see if more socially evolved cultures, which is to say almost any culture other than American culture, exhibit the same sort of bias describd in the article.
 
2013-03-11 12:28:55 PM
Let's help this guy out!

He needs to see some nice Farkette boobage, I mean, when people see him on the street they point and laugh!

EIP....act today....or feel bad for the rest of your life.  One simple act of BIE could save this mans life.

Stop thinking of yourself, and act now....

BIE.....EIP

/seriously...let's get that mob mentality going!
 
2013-03-11 12:42:37 PM
It's all a plan by Fartbama to condition people to communism.
 
2013-03-11 12:45:12 PM
One guy had the act going on and showed it on youtube.
The other person had no live footage (thank christ for that) and so it was more of an idea that she was abused.

It's really pretty simple when you think about it.
Why does it cost more to advertise on TV than in the papers?
Becaaaause?  We can see the act and not have to think about how it happened, that's why.

The point?  Start the iPod video camera when you're getting the life wrung out of you, I guess.
 
2013-03-11 01:58:07 PM

RockofAges: thecpt: StaleCoffee:

Yeah, 20 bucks is still 20 bucks. Childs Play is great, no argument. It's still exactly as PocketNinja described, though. The vast majority of people don't go to a Child's Play dinner and build houses for homeless kids or discuss plans for how they're going to set aside some time to play their particular skills for the greater charitable benefit of children in need of games, they sit and eat and have a good time because Gabe & Tycho are awesome.

I am actually more pleased picking the toys/games than I do for having done the charity.  Of the few hands on charities I've done, most weren't that rewarding.  I coached a kids B-Ball team and the kids were going to have fun whether I was there or not.  One kid punched me and openly discussed how his mom thought I was an idiot (I believed that she probably did, how do I reach these keeeds!).  The other I ended up cleaning a Youth Center, which if I had just given money and they subbed it they would have done a better job and gotten paid.

Money is still a sacrifice technically, and what charity is going to say no?  And sometimes that money goes to people who already have skills necessary to do the job right.

/what evs, people who give money clearly aren't being selfish a-holes.  If one wants to believe that to feel better about themselves for not doing it then go ahead.  I'm not exactly able to hop on a jet for Haiti relief, but hey I could give money to pay for medical supplies.

Time / money are equal when it comes to donations. Some people are very introverted and would not make very good volunteers. Some people are overworked and have little enough time to spend with their families nowadays, let alone volunteer.

And yes, for some, it's simpler to donate. Often, with physical volunteers, there also exists the "too many chiefs, not enough indians" issue (I've been involved in volunteerism for humane societies as well as political volunteerism).


You aren't wrong, but for a lot of people dropping 20 bucks they aren't going to miss is a way to be up on some moral high ground. I donate to several charities and we always bring stuff to Goodwill but I don't consider that equal when it comes to time / money. Right now I'm sitting on my ass getting paid. My free time on the weekends, I'm not getting paid. If I put in the time to drive somewhere and hammer some shiat together the time / money value there is skewed for me given the investment involved. It's not about the charities perspective there.

I think it is great people donate, not arguing against that. I don't want to give up every weekend to nail a house together either. Call me lazy but I have two kids and know Lego Pain and sleep deprivation so my free time means mental health recovery. No, not doing so well there obviously.

None of that changes the truth of the initial statement, and not everyone is carefully considering who they are helping and why. Most of them - imo - get caught up in the "I can do something and everyone else nearby will notice and I can feel good about it" wave rather than "I really love my niece but I work 456 hours a week and can't get down to the Hostel to nurse dying children but I can donate 100 bucks a week" folks.
 
2013-03-11 02:34:14 PM
I wonder how much this effect bleeds over into the "I know someone far away from me who said their rebellious teenager has gone missing; I better post a Fark Amber Alert to the mainpage" thing that was happening a few months ago.
 
2013-03-11 03:09:52 PM

Wingchild: I wonder how much this effect bleeds over into the "I know someone far away from me who said their rebellious teenager has gone missing; I better post a Fark Amber Alert to the mainpage" thing that was happening a few months ago.


Wasn't one of the girls who was the subject of a "Fark Amber Alert" actually murdered by some thugs? Can't really bash things like that for false alarms. I mean, sure, 9 times out of 10 they'll just turn up at a druggie friend's house, but there's still that other 10%.
 
2013-03-11 03:46:55 PM
justmeint.files.wordpress.com

It's too bad people can't get their flocking priorities straight.
 
2013-03-11 04:11:44 PM

rumpelstiltskin: It may be that in America, we have a cultural distrust of organizations. In other words, giving money directly to the victim is an effort that is not wasted, no matter how redundant the effort, while the same can't be said of giving money to a non-profit that combats a problem. It would be interesting to see if more socially evolved cultures, which is to say almost any culture other than American culture, exhibit the same sort of bias describd in the article.


You could probably quantify that by studying altruism in ant colonies.
 
2013-03-11 04:32:34 PM
media.comicvine.com gaminghell.co.uk

Let's ask Otto Sump...
 
2013-03-11 06:44:05 PM

thecpt: StaleCoffee:

Yeah, 20 bucks is still 20 bucks. Childs Play is great, no argument. It's still exactly as PocketNinja described, though. The vast majority of people don't go to a Child's Play dinner and build houses for homeless kids or discuss plans for how they're going to set aside some time to play their particular skills for the greater charitable benefit of children in need of games, they sit and eat and have a good time because Gabe & Tycho are awesome.

I am actually more pleased picking the toys/games than I do for having done the charity.  Of the few hands on charities I've done, most weren't that rewarding.  I coached a kids B-Ball team and the kids were going to have fun whether I was there or not.  One kid punched me and openly discussed how his mom thought I was an idiot (I believed that she probably did, how do I reach these keeeds!).  The other I ended up cleaning a Youth Center, which if I had just given money and they subbed it they would have done a better job and gotten paid.

Money is still a sacrifice technically, and what charity is going to say no?  And sometimes that money goes to people who already have skills necessary to do the job right.

/what evs, people who give money clearly aren't being selfish a-holes.  If one wants to believe that to feel better about themselves for not doing it then go ahead.  I'm not exactly able to hop on a jet for Haiti relief, but hey I could give money to pay for medical supplies.


Well put. Although $ vs Time is a different argument. I will say, as someone who works for a non profit, both are appreciated. Money probably more so for most people, but dedicated volunteers are irreplaceable. Even just the passion they have helps us who definitely go through burn out phases.

And people who say they care and support us and love what we do but who won't donate a dollar or 5 minutes (literally, just filling out a anonymous survey so we can direct our efforts intelligently) f--king suck. I'll take someone who just doesn't agree with our goals any day.
 
2013-03-11 06:55:39 PM

RockofAges: thecpt: StaleCoffee:

Yeah, 20 bucks is still 20 bucks. Childs Play is great, no argument. It's still exactly as PocketNinja described, though. The vast majority of people don't go to a Child's Play dinner and build houses for homeless kids or discuss plans for how they're going to set aside some time to play their particular skills for the greater charitable benefit of children in need of games, they sit and eat and have a good time because Gabe & Tycho are awesome.

I am actually more pleased picking the toys/games than I do for having done the charity.  Of the few hands on charities I've done, most weren't that rewarding.  I coached a kids B-Ball team and the kids were going to have fun whether I was there or not.  One kid punched me and openly discussed how his mom thought I was an idiot (I believed that she probably did, how do I reach these keeeds!).  The other I ended up cleaning a Youth Center, which if I had just given money and they subbed it they would have done a better job and gotten paid.

Money is still a sacrifice technically, and what charity is going to say no?  And sometimes that money goes to people who already have skills necessary to do the job right.

/what evs, people who give money clearly aren't being selfish a-holes.  If one wants to believe that to feel better about themselves for not doing it then go ahead.  I'm not exactly able to hop on a jet for Haiti relief, but hey I could give money to pay for medical supplies.

Time / money are equal when it comes to donations. Some people are very introverted and would not make very good volunteers. Some people are overworked and have little enough time to spend with their families nowadays, let alone volunteer.

And yes, for some, it's simpler to donate. Often, with physical volunteers, there also exists the "too many chiefs, not enough indians" issue (I've been involved in volunteerism for humane societies as well as political volunteerism).


Ha. The most recent volunteer meeting we had was a total too many chiefs situation. But it was a social night / upcoming volunteer events relaxed thing so it worked out ok.

I dragged my incredibly introverted SO to a volunteer night where everyone else was doing calls for an event. He actually helped me finish stupid filing stuff that needed to be done before our upcoming audit but that I simply hadn't had time to do. Just the originals of forms that had been data entered already, but we have to keep 2 years on file and pull them quickly if requested.

Point is introverted folks can help shore up the Indian population. :) it was like pulling teeth to get the college kid volunteers to do it, and they'd go for a half hour then abruptly stop to do something "more important".
 
2013-03-11 07:03:25 PM
Don't give to "mainstream" charities, because unless you want to pay a bunch of phoney execs and apparatchiks way too much money, and see hardly any go to the "cause, you aren't helping those you intend to aid.
The large scale direct giving made possible by the internet allows us to help on a more personal basis.
We are a very large dysfunctional family, we speak all languages, are located everywhere, and pretty much are willing to act in charitable ways when we are able and see a need, we can also be a bunch of bad asses ITRW sometimes.
(shout to L­o­k­i[nospam-﹫-backwards]tl*revenge)
If one of our own sees a need and brings it to IRC or a major forum, people are going to help out where possible, if it is a cause they care about.
Sometimes we help even when we don't GAS, just 'cause one of us thought it was important enough to bring to our attention.
When you know whose tears you help wipe away, who you may have helped find new enjoyment in each day, who we like to think flips off, and possibly moons those misirable litle bastichez on that goldurned yeller turd of a skuel bhuz.....well...It's the best kind of giving.
Ahem.
Sadly my "Machine guns For Monkeys" campaign (running since 1987) has yet to collect enough to actually purchase any fully automatic weapons, the C.I.C. (chimp in charge) would like to thank you all for the nice machetes, and the teaching aid of that nice Danny Ttrejo  movie.
Maybe our new focus  "Cigars N Titanite Nights" will be more successful.
 
2013-03-12 02:43:23 AM

quietwalker: Pocket Ninja: Because it allows people to feel like they're part of some greater, collective good without requiring them to actually do anything, commit anything, or think any further about it than the time it takes to press the submit button?

Probably not.

Like the article points out, there's a woman who was savagely raped, beaten, put in a coma, etc, who's indigogo campaign was only looking for money to cover the cost of surgery that would allow her to eat solid food again, and it was barely funded at 65k.  Not that 65k is a small amount, but why give 700k to a woman who was bullied, and less than a 10'th of that to a woman who was beaten, subjected to much more horrific abuse, and nearly died?  Why the disparity?

Two reasons:
   1  - We are more sympathetic to people who we share traits and experiences with
   2  - More of us can relate to being bullied than being beaten nearly to death.

When we donate to these causes, we are often role-taking, the money we're donating is not for the declared victim, it's being paid to the victim we were in the past.  When we know others are there too, we gain an implicit sense of community, and a strong competitive sense of 'us vs. them', even when 'them' is not a person.

That's why the internet as a whole has problems funding a charity for the families of soldiers killed in battle, but can summon up vast financial reserves for a sick cat or video games for a hospital play area.

Sure there's a useless thrill of clicking a 'like', and a more substantial 'I did something good' for those who donate, but it's nothing compared to the sense of belonging and self-justification for those who can relate to the beneficiaries of the charity.


There's also a potential reason 3 -- a lot more people heard about the bus monitor than about the rape/beating victim. The bus monitor was all over the news for what felt like about three months, whereas I never heard of the other woman until now.

I used to volunteer more, when I had more free time, only one child, and not much money. Now I have three children and not a whole lot of free time, so I donate. I know the food bank appreciates volunteers, but they can use money just as much.
 
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