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Cheeky Group Turns Internet Trolling Into Donations

Every time a troll posts on the Facebook page of Calais Action[1], a volunteer group helping support refugees in Europe, the organization gets a little stronger. Organizer Libby Freeman calls it “TrollAid.” Here’s how it works: any time Freeman or others spot a negative comment on the page, instead of deleting it, they post a link to a crowdfunding website where others can donate. The donations are tracked separately from the rest of Calais Action’s funds, so trolls can see exactly how much money their vitriol has generated. As of this writing, the account was up to 660 British pounds, or just under $950.

Freeman shared one such example of a profane comment a troll left on the page:

“As we grow we are getting more and more trolls, abusive posts and negative attitudes to our work on our page,” Freeman explained in a comment[2] on YouCaring. “We take this as a compliment, it means we’re succeeding!”

“These guys give their time to adding something to the refugee crisis, so we’d like to be able to give something back to them,” she continued. “When a troll posts something, we will post the TrollAid link underneath the comment, so everyone can donate what they can. You can even leave a message for them here, and we can see how much that particular troll has raised.”

Calais Action provides items like wheelchairs[3], backpacks full of warm clothes[4] and other supplies to refugees in need.

“Hopefully it s a win-win situation, because it will help stop people speaking out negatively by highlighting the abuse, and we ll raise some extra money,” Freeman explained to the U.K.’s Unilad Magazine[5]. “We don t just want to shut people down, more importantly we want to educate … a lot of people just don t understand the situation, and if you can get just one person to change their attitude, who knows, maybe they ll pass it on to their friends.”

Also on HuffPost:

Calais Migrants Try To Enter UK

Two migrants cling to the roof of a freight truck as it leaves the Eurotunnel terminal on July 31, 2015 in Folkestone, England. Hundreds of migrants are continuing to attempt to enter the Channel Tunnel in Calais, France and onto trains heading to the United Kingdom. Peter Macdiarmid via Getty Images

Two migrants cling to the roof of a freight truck as it leaves the Eurotunnel terminal on July 31, 2015 in Folkestone, England. Hundreds of migrants are continuing to attempt to enter the Channel Tunnel in Calais, France and onto trains heading to the United Kingdom. Peter Macdiarmid via Getty Images

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French gendarmes try to stop migrants on the Eurotunnel site in Coquelles near Calais, northern France, on late July 29, 2015.

PHILIPPE HUGUEN via Getty Images

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A migrant climbs a security fence of a Eurotunnel terminal in Coquelles near Calais, northern France, on July 30, 2015. PHILIPPE HUGUEN via Getty Images

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People help a man climb a fence near the Eurotunnel terminal in Coquelles on July 30, 2015 in Calais, France. Rob Stothard via Getty Images

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French gendarmes attempt to block a migrant after he entered the Eurotunnel site in Coquelles near Calais, northern France, on July 30, 2015.

PHILIPPE HUGUEN via Getty Images

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A man runs away from Gendarmerie near the Eurotunnel terminal in Coquelles on July 30, 2015 in Calais, France. Rob Stothard via Getty Images

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Migrants trying to reach the Channel Tunnel run past a policeman on the Eurotunnel site in Coquelles near Calais, northern France, on late July 29, 2015. PHILIPPE HUGUEN via Getty Images

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A man runs away from Gendarmerie toward the Eurotunnel terminal in Coquelles on July 30, 2015 in Calais, France.

Rob Stothard via Getty Images

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Migrants build a makeshift shelter at a site dubbed the ‘new jungle’, where migrants trying to cross the Channel to reach Britain have camped out around the northern French port of Calais, on July 29, 2015.

PHILIPPE HUGUEN via Getty Images

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French gendarmes stand facing a group of seated migrants as they block their way in the Eurotunnel site in Coquelles near Calais, northern France, on July 30, 2015.

PHILIPPE HUGUEN via Getty Images

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References

  1. ^ Facebook page of Calais Action (www.facebook.com)
  2. ^ Freeman explained in a comment (www.youcaring.com)
  3. ^ wheelchairs (www.facebook.com)
  4. ^ backpacks full of warm clothes (www.facebook.com)
  5. ^ Freeman explained to the U.K.’s Unilad Magazine (www.unilad.co.uk)



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