And by that I mean donations going to people online.
Yes, I have commented before that everyone thinks women in need are liars and con artists. But there are ways of showing – and proving – that someone is not being very forthright or is even downright dishonest without having to resort to sexist tropes, or hostility towards atheists or minorities, because that is just as dishonest.
Given that, then, some people may be living beyond their means in order to appear affluent. Beyond simply having nice things given to them or bought at good prices, they try to play both sides. Others may exaggerate their situation. And then there are some (overlapping with the latter) who prey on those with empathy and swindle good-hearted people. This is co-opting poverty and the struggles of actual poor people. I don’t need to say that they are taking away money from people who truly need it. It is easy to lie online.
Reading people online is not my strong suit. Hence, I really appreciate it when I see people vouching for someone requesting donations. It gives them the sense of credibility. So too is proof such as medical bills and the like. If you are really in need, it’s not so much to ask to prove that need, and address inconsistencies, nor is it an invasion of privacy. Call it a necessary evil.
It angers me when I see legitimate concerns brought up and they are not addressed. It makes me feel helpless. Because unfortunately, the concerns won’t be addressed and women won’t be given the information they need to know. And they have every right to know what exactly their money is going to. But chances are, this will continue to happen to people who don’t know any better. A lesser amount of money coming in to a dishonest person is still money being defrauded. And here people really thought she needed the money much more than they did. Some are even asking for their donations back.
The hard truth is: you cannot truly know someone on the internet. No average person has the time and energy to sift through tons of information and find inconsistencies, not when they do not know her as well as other people (those who were perhaps closer to her). I would like to add that there were things that should have raised a couple of red flags – not facts, but behavior and attitude. But now the concerns about truth are out in the open, and since they are legitimate they can’t be dismissed as libel or abuse. Here is what the fuss is all about.