You’d think by now GoFundMe would have some kind of, oh I dunno, filter or something to weed out campaigns that are in violation of their terms and conditions. I mean, if websites can yell at me for trying to create an account with a password that’s less than 8 characters without a bunch of exclamation points, then why can’t GoFundMe institute a simple filter system to prevent campaigns that shouldn’t exist? Oh well.

KTVH reported on the now-removed campaign shortly after it popped up:

Austin Kroll-Mclaughlin is accused of fatally shooting Ryan Eakin last week in Helena.

His mother, Shelly Martinez, made a GoFundMe page to help pay for attorney fees.

The page created on Saturday has a $20,000 goal.

Martinez said her son deserves the best defense he can get.

“I believe my son is innocent, that’s all I can say. I feel sad for the family, you know. It’s just hard. It’s hard for both families, you know, our families have been torn,” said Martinez.

Martinez’s son is charged with felony deliberate homicide and felony tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. He faces a sentence of life if convicted.

While we’re on the subject, huddle close reporters, I need y’all to listen: you need to pull your editor aside and tell them to knock this off. This headline is a joke, and GoFundMe campaigns are not a story. They are completely unverified and, as you learned in this particular case, often disappear for a variety of reasons; fraud, criticism, lack of support, and/or — as in this case — violation of GoFundMe policies.

Murder Suspect headline

^^ This right here? Stop it.