Oh my dear furriends, I’m so heartbroken this morning. Once again, someone’s been accused of being a scammer and everyone who vouches for her is also being called a scammer. This has to stop. One dear furriend who’s been around forever almost left because of it. One person had to close her account and open a new one. Here’s what happened.
Someone set up a chipin asking for help because she was illegally evicted and didn’t have money to move. (I’ll call her 1.) 1 is now homeless. Admittedly, she didn’t do herself any favors by being poetic in her plea, making her chipin request hard to understand. Someone who didn’t know her accused her of being a scammer. (I’ll call her 2.) 2 also accused anyone who retweeted the requests for help of being scammers. She attacked someone who was asking for everyone to stop and be nicer. She attacked anyone who vouched for the person needing help.
No one of us knows every single pal in the anipal community. There are thousands and thousands of us. Therefore, just because you don’t know someone doesn’t mean they’re a scammer. This is the fourth time, to my knowledge, this has happened in less than a year. In all the other cases, the person asking for help has turned out to be legitimate. When are we going to learn not to jump to conclusions? This may turn out the same way.
2 also kept spreading the word that 1 is a scammer to as many pals as possible. And entirely too many pals took 2 at her word. This bothers me almost as much as the attack in the first place. Pals, please please please don’t be so quick to attack someone as a scammer or to believe accusers without checking things out for yourself. There are just too many of us for any one pal to know everyone else. You’re gonna see pleas for help from pals you don’t know. And requests for anyone to verify the plea is real could take days to get a response if that pal’s friends don’t follow you and don’t see the request. It could take days for them to hear about it and get back to you.
There was also mention of someone using the #pawpawty hashtag. I used The Archivist to pull up tweets with that hashtag going back to 3/9 and didn’t see any. If there were any, they must have belonged to the person who closed her account, and it shouldn’t have been used. But again, that does not make the person a scammer. It just makes them thoughtless and they shouldn’t use established hashtags like #pawpawty or #nipclub for fundraisers that have nothing to do with either.
If you think someone’s a scammer but don’t have absolute proof positive, then don’t donate. Maybe even block them and go on your merry way. Please don’t start a witch hunt or join in one that’s already started without being 1000% positive that it’s a scam. We need each other too much to keep doing this to each other.
I was going to name names, but then I realized I’d only escalate the tension which is the opposite of what I’m trying to achieve. I want pals to focus on the circumstances, not the pals involved. I want us to start making sure we think twice, and maybe even three times, before we accuse anyone of anything. We need to have absolute proof before we turn anyone in to Paypal, Twitter, or Chipin for fraud. Too many innocent pals are getting hurt because we’re too quick to rush to judgement. A community like this is no place for vigilante justice. We need to be better than that. Like I said, this is the fourth time that I’m aware of that someone’s been accused of being a fraud, and three of them have turned out to be false accusation. I’m purraying to Bast that whether or not 1 turns out to be a scammer, it’s the last time we stir up such a hornet’s nest.