Inviting Fraud

[UPDATED] Morons Are Throwing Money at This Totally Unverified GoFundMe to Buy a Journo Glasses

Ben Jacobs glasses GoFundMe

There are times in the course of my work that I stop and think… ya know… sometimes people deserve to get ripped off. This is one such time.

Someone who can’t even be arsed to provide a name decided to set up a GoFundMe campaign to replace Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs’ glasses after he was accosted in a violent fashion by an aspiring Congressman in Montana, leading to destruction of his eyewear.

As a sight-challenged, legally-blind-in-one-useless-eye American with no vision insurance myself, I totally understand that glasses are a necessary but oft-overlooked splurge, up there with new iPhones and big screen teevees for those living precariously on the poverty line (which encroaches closer and closer to median incomes each day). I would like to think The Guardian has a decent vision plan, but that’s none of my business. Let’s take a look at the campaign.

It reads:

On May 24, in Bozeman, MT, Ben Jacobs, a reporter for the Guardian newspaper, was body slammed by Greg Gianforte, a candidate running for the Montana U.S House seat, for asking a question about healthcare. During this outrageous attack, Mr. Jacobs’ glasses were broken. Let’s help him get a new pair.

According to comments, the campaign originally said Great Falls, but the organizer later corrected that error.

An addendum at the top says: “due to generous support, we met our goal to get Ben a new pair of glasses. Let’s keep up the momentum – all donations going forward will be going to the Committee to Protect Journalists: New goal of $10,000.” Right. Why stop there. Why not make it $100,000. For journalism!

Ben Jacobs glasses GoFundMe

Fortune even linked to the campaign, making zero mention of the fact that we have no idea who “D C” is nor why we should trust this person to bequeath thousands of dollars to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Who cares, send money. And boy have people. As of press time, it’s up to over $2400, and I’m going to refresh one more time before I wrap this just to see how much more it’s climbed.

Hello? Does no one else see this? Who the hell is D C?!

D C GoFundMe

Warby Parker has generously offered to hook Ben up with a pair of specs, BTW. Problem solved.

As a journo myself, I’d humbly suggest you make a donation directly to CPJ if you feel so compelled, which you can do here. And if not, there’s always the option of lighter fluid and a match on your hard-earned money, which at least would get you a bonfire rather than knowing you were a mark who fell for an absolutely asinine GoFundMe campaign.

$2,535. Wow, the economy must be better than I thought if y’all have money to throw at this.

Update: Negative comments suggesting the campaign could be a scam have been deleted from the page. Only positive comments remain.

It has raised $3,163 as of noon on Friday, May 26.