Please stop rushing to judgment!

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.

22 thoughts on “Please stop rushing to judgment!”

  1. Thank you for a thoughtful response to a sad situation. Not only are 1 and 2 involved but innocent anipals are getting drawn into this & being accused of terrible things they did not do. This is so not what the twitter anipal community is about – it makes me so sad, No one has the right to accuse someone else of anything publicly without concrete proof – it’s simply wrong. And even if this anipal was scamming us, which has yet to be proven, most anipals have an adult hooman who is capable of deciding for themselves whether or not someone is legit & choose to either give money or not. While I can understand someone thinking they are doing the rest of us a “favor” by exposing a scammer all they seem to do is cause needless hurt to innocent anipals. It’s happened too many times – when will we learn this is not the way to handle these situations?
    You all know I love my furiends very much – you mean so much to me. The twitter anipal community is loving, compassionate, giving, and fun. We care about each other, we cry together, we laugh together, we are a family. This is what is so special about us-having never met we have bonds that make us care deeply for one another. That is what we need to get back to. I know we can – we are better than this drama that’s been going on.
    ((HUGS))
    Luv you all!
    Lily
    OxOxOxO

    1. Totally agree with all you & Pumplkin have said, Lily – tweeting accusations, however well-intentioned, isn’t helpful.

      It traumatizes the accused (usually innocent) anipal, jeopardizes any criminal or civil case that might be brought against a guilty one (breaches defendant’s right to a fair trial), embarrasses & upsets other anipals, & generally escalates into a wider conflict which breaks up friendships & can drive pals out of Twitter altogether.

      If we have real evidence of illegality (suspicion doesn’t cut it) we should give it to the appropriate authorities asap.

      If we don’t, we need to remember that under the law efurryone is innocent till proved guilty, and behave accordingly.

      Being accused of something that you haven’t done is a deeply painful and humiliating experience – please, let’s make sure we aren’t adding it to the nightmare that a pal in need’s already going through.

  2. You have your facts wrong. Here is what happened: a tweet from someone I don’t know at all (@teatimeforme777) was in the pawpawty hashtag stream directing people to give $5 each to the suspect chip in. I tweeted, hey fellow anipals do u know this person who is tweeting for funds in the pawpawty stream? Most of my animal friends did not. I expressed concern (not accused- there is difference) for legitimacy of this chip in. Next day the teatimeforme account had been deleted. we don’t know if by twitter or owner. NO ONE SAID ANYTHING TO THIS ACCONT HOLDER as far as I know. Also, within one hour of my expressing concern for legitimacy of the suspect chip in, several twitter accounts, mostly international and mostly from the #wlf stream (again I have no familiarity with this group- don’t even know what #wlf stands for) began attacking me, calling me names, tweeting insults and then deleting them, tweeting my followers saying I was “mean” and a “bully”. I kid you not. I am stunned at the dysfunctional behavior I have seen over the last few days. FOR three days straight one account from the wlf stream (which has been reported to twitter for abuse) flung insults at me with zero response from me. three days- name calling, tweeting others to try and stir up fights etc.

    I called paypal, gave them the email address of the suspect chip in, explained the person was claiming they were currently in the UK and there had been also some question of her being in Russia and US from her previous tweets and chip in. Here is what the paypal security adviser said…”Oh my god, I see what you are saying. All I can tell you is that this is being forwarded to the fraud dept immediately. Thank you for reporting this”.

    I have been insulted and belittled with zero retaliation on my part for days now. No one has stood up for me although literally dozens have DMed me telling me that the same few accounts are always doing this when a question arises of a chip in scam- the same people are always trying to start fights and attack the person who points out the fraud.

    All I know is this: when an honest person wants financial help, they are thrilled to give all the verification, names, phone numbers, addresses, having ppl send money directly to the company who they owe bill money to etc. When there is an internet scam, people try to divide, cause drama, distract and make everyone afraid of ever questioning. they try to silence the person who questions.

    You are responsible for your own behavior. If you promote something fraudulent because you did not look into it or you are gullible and easily conned, you are making the world a worse place, not a better one.

    I am tired of the insults and games and complete lack of support from those I thought were friends who I have generously supported in their animal rescue work for 2 years. I find the behavior exhibited here to be high on drama and immaturity, and very lacking in core values that are important to me. Charity is sacred. It is not to be abused for scams and personal gain. Shame on anyone who attacks someone for defending this and for questioning. IT IS NEVER WRONG TO QUESTION AND BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR INTERNET SCAMS. THOSE WHO WORK OVERTIME TO DISCOURAGE QUESTIONING MAY HAVE UNETHICAL MOTIVES.

    Marjorie Alexander and Puppy the Guinea Pig

    1. WLF is the Whiskas Liberation Front. There’s a fairly large group of anipals that belong to this and many of it’s members are very well known in the anipal community. The person the chipin is for also tweets under her pet’s name and the pet is a WLF member. That’s probably why you got so many tweets from WLF members. I did not see those, so I can’t comment on their tone. I’m only commenting on the tweets I was able to retrieve using The Archivist.

      I did see tweets attacking someone else who was retweeting the tweets of the owner of the chipin.

      I don’t know who @teatimeforme777 is. As I said in my blog, I never saw any tweets using the #pawpawty hashtag. And as I said, it may be because they were tweeted by this person whose account is now gone.

      The chipin you keep referencing, http://helpshawnie.chipin.com/housing-problems, does not belong to @teatimeforme777. It belongs to someone else. The person the chipin is for never used the #pawpawty hashtag herself. She has also been vouched for by someone well known in the community who many of us know well, love, and trust.

      She never said she was from Russia. As I explained to you twice, she used a poetic reference, “Sleep is a city in Russia”, to describe her anxiety about sleeping on the streets or in a shelter.

      You keep insisting she prove herself to you. She may not have the desire, nor feel the need, to do so. Also, if she is legit, she is now homeless and may not have the ability to respond to you.

      I understand your desire to keep scammers out of the community. If you are 100% absolutely positive someone is a scammer, then by all means, report them to chipin, paypal, and twitter. But then please please please wait for the results before raising such an alarm in the community. As I said, I’ve seen 3 times already where this has happened and it turned out the chipins were legit. And I’ve learned from reading @frugaldougal’s blog that he was also the victim at one point of false accusations.

      I honestly don’t know if the owner of the chipin is legit or not. I tend towards believing she’s legit because I know her anipal persona well and because of who has vouched for her. But I could still be wrong. I still believe that being so forceful about it before anything is proven only creates more harm then good. I also think it’s especially important to make sure you’ve got your facts straight since I think you’ve got two different people mixed up. Again, the chipin does not belong to @teatimeforme777. It does belong to someone who lives in the US and has never represented anything else. Edit: I was mistaken. Just heard from someone who knows her and she is in Liverpool. But still, never said she lives in Russia.

      Most of us here have adults behind our personas. It is up to us as adults to exercise reasonable care before donating to anyone. We need to do our own research and draw our own conclusions. There are a lot of scammers out there and we do need to be careful where we send our money. It is up to each of us to take responsibility for our own decisions about donating.

    2. Peachy and her human did that because she was trying to help her friend. She closes her account on occasion to take a break or when she is upset and had only opened it to help Shawnie. Marjorie, get your facts straight. Quit jumping the gun all the time. And you insist people are nasty well we are only nasty if you are nasty to us. You accused Shawnie, Peachy, Tiggy and others of being scammers. She doesn’t have the ability to respond herself because being homeless she cannot charge her phone. Her cats are with her mother who does not get along with her. This is why she doesn’t just stay with her mother.

      1. And Marjorie, all of her pets and Shawnie herself are part of the WLF. Shawnie had been afraid of being back on the streets in past, to the point she shut everyone away. She has depression, severe depression. And her landlord wanted a lot of money for rent but would not give her the time. He also assaulted fellow tenants but no charges were ever laid. So that is why she is homeless, because of one man.

        1. I called paypal myself.Paypal now knows that your claim that Shawnie is being fraudulent, may be fraudulent in itself. You refused to listen to reason, to proof, you were told twice what the phrase Sleep is a town in Russia means. And you ignored it, adamantly claiming “no she’s lying” like a little kid who doesn’t get their own way. It is now up to them to make the right decision. You were told to let them decide but you threw a tantrum. Yes you thought you were doing the right thing and I commend you for trying but as I told you previously. There were other ways of going about it. Talking to Shawnie’s friends for example. And now Peachy and her staff have left because she was upset by you. You brought this on yourself.You’re probably going to vehemently claim that Peachy’s “mom” was aiding a scammer. All she was doing was asking about donating just 5 bucks to the cause. Yes she shouldn’t have used the #pawpawty hashtag or the one for nipclub, but she was just trying to reach out to the entire anipal community.

          1. If your claim ends up being the truth so be it, but if Shawnie was telling the truth, on your own head be the consequences. Just wait to see what Paypal says. You have done your part. And I have done mine. Now we wait to see who was right.

  3. why has my comment been deleted? it was respectful and the truth? why are you playing games like this?

    1. Your comment wasn’t deleted. Once again you rush ahead. I’ve set the blog up that new commentors must have their comments approved. This is the first time I’ve logged in to check comments since you wrote yours. I don’t play games.

      By the way, I tried to leave a comment on your blog, but couldn’t find what to click on to leave a comment.

  4. This has upset me a lot, especially with a good pal threatening to leave. The crucial thing is, trust. The choice is ours, and I know some pals, commendably, worry others might be hoodwinked and watch our backs so we respectfully take their opinion into account – then decide on our own. We need harmony, peace and respect for each other.

  5. All I did was respond to someone that I knew a certain account holder was NOT a scam — privately, by DM — without any ugliness or nastiness … just to say the account and owner were legit. I was unfollowed and blocked. I also was asked by several people to re-post my blog post from October when this happened once before about this person and I will do so later today … this is not fair to any of us and it truly needs to stop. Ugliness from within our own anipal community is VERY destructive … it’s a cancer … let’s do our best to stop it from overtaking the good deeds which we, as a group, have been able to do. Hugzzzzz ….

    RAY, CHASE & TIPPER — @DaneRay

  6. this is an excellent post Pumpkin. I would have named names in this case as i truly beleive that these people need to be called out and that this is the only way they will stop. However i also know that this goes against what we stand for as anipals and could only make the situation worse. I agree that behind ever anipal is a human who is perfectly capable of deciding for themselves whether to give or not. It is better to give and be wrong than to not give to someone who really needs our help. Love Petie

  7. Pumpkin,
    I agree wif what you wrote.
    Calm approaches, waiting for information and politeness go a long way. On all sides.
    I hope this has not tarnished yor day too much.
    *pawhugs*

    -Bella

  8. I think this is so sad and I will hold my paws up and say when all this kicked off I thought we had been scammed however I was wrong. What we are doing to each other in the community is so so sad there are alot of anipals who fight for such a long time to find

    1. So true Molly. Marjorie is too stubborn to see she is wrong. She calls herself a celebrity. And this why she has the view that she is untouchable. She thinks that she can just report as she pleases and say what she wishes, and she will get off scot free. Well, that’s not how the world works. She reported an innocent person who doesn’t even know this is happening to Paypal for fraud.

      1. She has no way of defending herself. I think Marjorie feels pretty smug. She’s going to ruin someone’s life over a misunderstood phrase.

  9. I know @teatimeforme777 and Peachy’s human is pretty vulnerable right now and to have been chased off twitter by unpleasantness is a bit low of someone. Many of us retweet chipin requests in good faith and whether the original request was legit or not is immaterial [I’ve heard from more than one source that it is legit] but those who RT should not be targeted as somehow suspect. The #wlf community is a great community and generally full of respect for each other. I’ve had several anipals upset by this whole business. Those of us who wish we could chipin more to other friends in distress generally RT as a means to hope to find people who can help.

      1. I am sure the mistake was made in good faith but it’s left a lot of sourness. Having an account that doesn’t permit previous tweets to be read to check whether the person involved is generally balanced in judgement or otherwise is something that I’m afraid makes me at least a little prejudicial. It would be nice to see a gesture of goodwill and an attempt to put this firmly in the past.

  10. I think enough has been said and there’s been too many hurt feelings over this. I’m going to close comments now because things are just escalating out of control.

    I hope we learn from this that hotheadedness only makes more problems than it solves. I’m begging, please, that we make kind, patient, thoughtful decisions from now on.

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