When asking for money goes horribly wrong on Social Media

I recently witnessed a heated debacle on Facebook and it makes you realise you should never underestimate the power of the people.

A young 18 year lady posted that she and her young daughter were homeless and needed advice because she claimed the local services let her down. A long post about how she got to that point ensued, ending with her saying she needed £1,100 for a rent deposit and she had no idea where to go.

Someone suggested she setup a gofundme page. She said she didn’t know how but an hour later one was created. So far so good it seems. Within an hour of the gofundme going up she already had £25 in donations. At this point it all starts to go horribly wrong…

The internet is full of people who could give Sherlock Holmes a run for his money, Facebook it seems is no exception. The problem was the gofundme page had a donation target of £2,500 which is £1,400 more than she first claimed she needed. She rebutted this by saying she needed all new furniture and child clothes as the bailiffs had taken everything.

Several people pointed out that the bailiffs would not take children toys, beds etc. This was swiftly followed by questions asking her why her own Facebook page showed her trying to sell a flat screen TV just the day before. The sleuths then found out she had set-up a gofundme fund just the year before. Then it all turned really ugly.


She said she was single but her relationship profile on Facebook showed her in a relationship and the recent photos on her page verified this. She said she had no money but very recently she had been on a nice day out with her child to the zoo. If you don’t know, going to the zoo is a fairly costly day out, certainly not something you could afford to do if you’re homeless.

Then someone from the local services, who dealt with these precise issues in the bay stated that it is normally in a situation where someone made themselves intentionally homeless (i.e. not paying the rent) that problems occur finding them a home.

It reached boiling point when other people who said they knew her (can’t be verified) posted a multitude of other issues which compounded everything.

Needless to say the gofundme page was quickly reported and removed and hundreds of comments followed in its wake.

This isn’t a name and shame. No names, links or anything else to trace this debacle will be given. It was just interesting to see it escalate so quickly.

Simon Day

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