Blog fundraisers cease after questions asked

Filed as General on May 21, 2003 9:24 pm

by Duncan

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A strange thing happened in the Blogosphere yesterday. Following the Blog Herald’s questioning of Star Wars Kid video promoter Andy Baio and associate Jish Mukerji’s fundraising activities for the Star Wars Kid, Jish Mukerji’s blog has indicated an end to the campaign.

Mr Mukerji’s blog also indicated full disclosure of all funds raised and how they are to be spent will be available shortly.

The Blog Herald welcomes the steps taken to provide full accountability by Mr Mukerji.

Some will say that this was always planned, as indicated on the site. The Blog Herald has saved copies of both sites prior to our article being published and NEITHER indicate any intent to close donations.

The Blog Herald has received a number of comment s and even more email correspondence on topic, many critical of the Blog Heralds stance on this matter.

Again we ask, if somebody came knocking on your door with no id and asked you to give to charity would you do so?

Whilst the internet has been described by some as the Wild West, it is important that there a minimum standards of transparency and accountability when the public is asked to hand over their hard earned money by unknowns on a blog.

And in the case of Andy Baio, from the chief promoter of the Star War Kid video phenomenon, it is like the bank robber asking for charity for the bank.

At the time of writing there if nothing on Mr Baio’s site indicating the same disclosure at Mr Mukerji’s, no indication that fundraising is over, and still the same links to the video.

The Blog Herald awaits the disclosure information with interest and hopes that the right thing will be done by all.

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  1. By Andy Baio posted on May 22, 2003 at 1:44 am
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    I’m not sure why you continue to accuse me and Jish of evil-doing, since we’ve tried to be as transparent and accountable during this entire thing as possible. I’ve posted every donation on the fundraiser page as I’ve received it, and Jish has tried to keep his donation list in sync with mine.

    The fundraiser page (http://www.waxy.org/archive/2003/05/13/finding_.shtml) stated explicitly that we were planning on running the fundraiser until the middle of this week. Yesterday, I changed the text to confirm that the fundraiser would continue until “tomorrow, May 21.” There is absolutely no connection between your weblog and the end of the fundraiser.

    I’m sure you’ll also be disappointed to see that I posted a spreadsheet with every donation that we received, complete with Paypal transaction IDs. When we buy the gifts for Ghyslain, I’ll post receipts for further evidence. I’m hoping we can get him to take photos of himself with his new toys once he receives them, and I’ll post those as well.

    If you had ever bothered to e-mail me or Jish before posting unfounded accusations, we would have gladly explained our intentions and provided evidence that we were never trying to scam anyone. But I expect that you’re more interested in generating Drudge-style tabloid controversy than objective truth.

    By the way, the code/design for your site was stolen from Movabletype.org. Pretty tacky.

  2. By Derek Powazek posted on May 22, 2003 at 2:47 am
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    Know what else happened right after blogherald.com posted those deep, insightful questions? The sun set! And Buffy ended! And I stubbed my toe! I want you to know that I hold you accountable for all three. You’ll be hearing from my lawyers.

    And, yeah, if you wanna stay up there on your high horse, you might want to consider designing your own site. Ripping off site designs is so 1997.

  3. By Kevin-John Black posted on May 22, 2003 at 3:11 am
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    …sigh.

    You’re a sad little man.

    But that’s just my point of view. I might be making the same mistake you’ve made. Rather than doing any research about your “state of small sadness” I just spouted off without spending any time or effort to discover the truth. The difference is that I haven’t couched my opinions as investigative reporting.. or doing a service to my fellow bloggers.

    I apologize for committing the same mistake you have..and I hope that folks that know you will post to your site and change my opinion.

    KJB

    Editors note:
    I note your comments and have taken them onboard, however I still stand by my questions in regards to disclosure and the irony in the person promoting the video, and the misery of the Star Wars Kid, then turns around and asks for donations, which just happen to result in worldwide publicity. It now seems that disclosure has occurred and I think that’s great and look forward to seeing the photos etc… You will note my reply to waxy on the site.

    I am still deeply troubled however by the issue of humiliating a child and then asking for donations to by him an iPod whilst still providing the humiliation service, and even worse, appearing in the press so billions know about the poor boy. Any feedback you are willing to give on this matter I welcome, please help me put my mind at rest.

  4. By heather posted on May 22, 2003 at 7:16 am
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    “Some will say that this was always planned, as indicated on the site. The Blog Herald has saved copies of both sites prior to our article being published and NEITHER indicate any intent to close donations.”

    Patently untrue. Jish clearly stated on his site last week that donations would cease to be collected within a certain period. I read this before I made my own donation to the cause.

    “Blog fundraisers cease after questions asked”

    You really need to step back and get over yourself.

  5. By Ivan Yokanovich posted on May 22, 2003 at 10:15 pm
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    I cant believe the comments here, I have been watching this star wars kid stuff and I think questions should be asked, as they should be asked of anyone is a similar situation. Nice site and will visit again soon.

  6. By heather posted on May 23, 2003 at 2:16 am
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    ivan, i don’t begrudge anyone the right to ask questions based on facts, but questions based upon fantasy, that intentionally distort the truth are more than unfortunate. they besmirch the reputations of those who are only doing good.

  7. By Duncan Riley posted on May 23, 2003 at 9:42 am
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    Heather
    Like Jish and Andy you still ignore the biggest irony of the lot, and that is that Andy is the one causing the Star Wars Kid his misery and continues to do so. Now that disclosure is taking place, do I think what they are doing is good in relation to the donations, absolutely, and Im not shy in saying so. But seriously though, doing good? How is humiliating a child doing good? How is promoting this humiliating video in the media doing good? They may be fundraising for the kid, which is the least they can do, but Andy still has blood on his hands. Tell me, if the kid commits suicide from the deep depression this video is causing him, will you still stick up for your mate, the video pedler Andy?
    And what next, charity raising for a child victim of a porn video Andy is promoting on his site? Extreme? Maybe, but in terms of exploitation, humiliation and a lifetime of self-loathing, they are not all that far removed. And at the end of the day, you can attack me all you want, because as long as you support the video being downloaded on the net, you are supporting the exploitation of a child.
    I hope you sleep well at night….

    Duncan Riley
    editor, The Blog Herald

  8. By blake posted on May 29, 2003 at 10:36 am
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    the video was available long before it was posted on a blog and when i post i don’t go back and edit out stuff – it’s there for good, even if it’s something i regret (that includes links) because it is what i was thinking at that moment. that is my definition of a blog.

    and frankly, if someone wants to buy me an ipod and other toys i’ll dance my fat ass around with a broom for the world to see as well. i would have done it when i was 15 too. with relish!

    don’t kid yourself – his embarassment was from what his “friends” did to him – not what the blogger did.

    i know it’s tough when people disagree with you and start to rip you down for it, i’ve gone through it allot, but you shouldn’t equate the blogger with a pedophile just because it will push your point. that’s an unfair way of playing, dude. a kid dancing around pretending to be darth maul is far removed from child porn.

    really, really far.

  9. By null posted on August 13, 2004 at 12:38 am
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    null