Animal Welfare Hoaxing – the role of social media and the impacts on those involved


The issues surrounding unregulated fund-raising on social media are complicated and not simple to address. We appreciate that in certain situations, such as wildly fluctuating income, registering as a charity may not be feasible. In the UK, for example, to register with the UK Charities Commission a platform of £5000 p.a. in received donations needs to be attained.. However, it does need to be accepted by unregistered charities and individuals fund-raising, due to many scams feeding off the backs of animal lovers, that suspicions are easily aroused and the onus falls on them to be completely transparent in their dealings with the public. Many social media fund-raiser donations are paid via PayPal where there is no evidence of the amounts raised and absolutely no accountability if running totals are not published by the people asking for money. Surely the first duty to donors is to publish these figures frequently on fund-raising FB pages with evidence of expenditure? When people asking for donations choose to ignore good and courteous practice it is impossible to discern if it is because of gross arrogance, laziness or downright attempts to con.

viewfromthemalvernhills

During the Christmas period I have had more time to scan various forms of social media for some of the things that interest me, including animal welfare. Over the past week, I have watched as a completely bizarre situation has played out which has demonstrated, not only the power of social media, but the risks of this power, especially when it is combined with emotive subjects such as animals being at risk of harm and ill treatment.

Being interestedi in animals and their impact on human mental health, including animal hoarding and rescuing I am concerned that a new abuse of both animals and people concerned for their welfare is developing through the form of social media.

One social media animal welfare hoax

Before Christmas a new page suddenly appeared on Facebook for a group purporting to be involved in reuniting lost equines and their owners. The focus quickly changed…

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