Update: A Doctors Without Border representative confirmed that the organization received over $150,000 in donations from redditors.
Popular social news Web site Reddit has been taken over by “upvote and I’ll donate to Doctors Without Borders” posts.
At 5:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, the top five posts on Reddit’s front page – which is driven by the number of upvotes received – are exactly that.
Usually, the front page of Reddit features newsworthy or interesting posts that attracted upvotes by the merits of their content. Occasionally, posts ask for upvotes and tie the number of them received to some (usually charitable) action.
In this case, posters from subredddit r/Atheism are tying the amount of upvotes received to how much they will donate to Doctors Without Borders. The top post, for example, promised to donate $10 for every upvote received in a five hour period.
Most of these posters are not quite that generous; the offer is usually less than $1 per upvote. One poster, strapped for cash, offered to volunteer at the headquarters of Doctors Without Borders in Geneva, Switzerland if he receives enough upvotes.
Redditors, ever the skeptics, are demanding proof of the donations, which some posters have provided.
Indeed, Reddit has proven to be a fundraising powerhouse in the Internet in the past few years.
Some redditors purposely posted fake pledges.
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.
A few redditors even mocked the donation drive with insulting and offensive posts.