Cyber Activism

What is cyber activism?

I feel like I have taken certain roles in my life to be an activist, mostly for women’s rights. I have never thought about activism within the boundaries of the internet but I realize that it is huge.

When I open up my Facebook account I see people sharing pages discussing animal cruelty, politics, and everything in between. There is a lot of people using the website GoFundMe. The claim you can raise money for medical, volunteer, emergencies, education, memorials, sports, animals, business, charity, competitions,  creative, events, faith, family, newlyweds, fire relief, travel, wishes. The idea behind the website is that people can start their own GoFundMe page to raise money for any of the various reasons, and GoFundMe takes 8% of the total raised. It is a brilliant idea; but, I am not too sure if it is ethical. Individuals can pull at the heartstrings of long lost friends, and complete strangers for causes that may- or may not be true. Then, the organizers of the website takes a very large chunk for themselves. Upon a little investigation, I have found a couple looking for support on their honeymoon, they have raised $1000 so far; so GoFundMe has earned $80. Another page is “Relief for Fidencio the Paleta Man”, and this page raised $384,260, which means GoFundMe earned #30,740.80. This is insane! The organizers do very little work and get a huge pay out! The people raising the money, and the entire cyber world, promote the page via Facebook and Twitter.

I have personally donated to a few different times to various causes; usually long lost friends whose spouse or child is really sick. I had no idea that the organizers were taking such a generous portion off of the top. A quick Google search asking “how to raise money on FaceBook” brought up a list of websites that focus on raising money. Giveitforward.com claims they have raised $195,126,931 for people and this is their claim,

Approximately 2.9% + $.30 goes to our online payment service provider. An additional 5% covers our overhead expenses such as our tech development teams. On average, 95% of all donors choose to cover these fees along with their donation to ensure you receive 100% of all funds raised. Your fundraising goal doesn’t affect payments – whether it’s one dollar or thousands, you always keep what you raise

It seems a little bit fishy as well; they put the overhead onto the person donating the money rather than skimming off of the top… I am not too sure I agree with either. If I intend on donating $50 I would not appreciate being asked for more for the overhead.  I also found Fundrazr.com and they claim to have raised over $92,000,000 so far for people and they claim to have a program called “Flex Funding”

Raise money the way the suits you. Choose Keep it all to access funds immediately. Or choose All or nothing to charge supporters after you reach your goal. Either way, you never pay extra fees or penalties

Well that just sounds even more corrupt. How are you meant to charge your supporters AFTER you reach your goal?! How is this ethical? If I supported my friends child with cancer with a $50 donation I would be unimpressed if I was later charged with their overhead expenses; which the website never does explain.

Does anyone have any experiences with pages such as these? I would love to hear them!

Bye for now,

Roxann

 

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About roxannwaelchli

I launched this page for the ECMP355 class that will go towards my BEAD program from the University of Regina. I graduated last year with a BA in Religious Studies with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. I am a wife and a mom of 2 girls. Here I will be learning about all things techy, which is very out of my comfort zone! And I will also be blogging about my journey learning how to knit, and then teaching my 5 year old to knit too!
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