Social news Web site Reddit claimed its recent fundraising campaign has generated over $150,000 in donations to Doctors Without Borders (DWB).
Redditor zestyping, who promised to give $1 for every upvote (up to $1,000) and $10 for every donation (no cap) in a 24 period, posted proof on Reddit (image below) of the $150,000 donation amount.
Zestyping himself claimed he ultimately gave $10,050 to the organization. In the past few days, the frontpage of Reddit and subreddit r/Atheism (from which the donation drive originated) has been littered with public pledges to donate to DWB.
Jennifer Tierney, development director for DWB, confirmed in a phone call with IBTimes that Reddit members did indeed donate over $150,000.
Obviously, we are very pleased with the generosity of the Reddit group. We are very pleasantly surprised over the weekend to see how much support and traffic the site generated for us. We have a lot of third-party fundraisers throughout the year, where people out of the goodness of their hearts support us. This is one of those efforts and one of the most successful ones for sure, said Tierney.
On the impressive $150,000 amount, she said it's a very high amount for an online fundraiser like this.
We are just pleasantly surprised and grateful, she said.
Reddit, one of the most popular Web sites on the Internet, has an impressive record as an online fundraising powerhouse.
Reddit claims its 2011 Secret Santa program has spent $148,587.21 in gifts and $35,345.94 in shipping so far. Reddit also donated $618,191 to DonorsChoose.org in a campaign associated with comedian Stephen Colbert.
Its 2011 DWB donation drive, however, is not without controversy.
Reddit is stunningly credulous when it comes to hurriedly upvoting self-proclaimed humanitarian crusaders... Many legitimate contributors to the donation drive posted today and they should be exalted accordingly. But plenty of phonies littered the front page as well, of whom I was certainly not the first, wrote a redditor who posted a fake pledge.
Update: r/Atheism posted the following statement on top of the subreddit: 'Upvote' posts are overloading reddit. Please post no more.