‘Naive’ Twitter pledge leads to UK lawmaker donating $21,150 to charity

twitterOffering to donate a sum of money to charity each time one of your tweets is retweeted was always going to be a high-risk pledge, as one UK lawmaker found to her cost.

During Friday night’s biennial Comic Relief Red Nose Day event on the BBC, where comedians and other entertainers come together to help raise money for various charities, Fiona Mactaggart, a lawmaker from the country’s main opposition Labour Party, tweeted to her 2000 or so followers that she would donate £1 ($1.50) to Comic Relief for each retweet.

twitter pledge

Mactaggart, 59, then proceeded to watch – no doubt with a bead of sweat forming on her upper lip – as the retweets started to stack up. She might have only been expecting to donate a few hundred pounds, but within a short space of time the retweets were in their thousands.

Luckily for Mactaggart – who later confessed she was “Twitter naive” – she put a 30-minute limit on her offer, though that was still plenty of time for her message to be retweeted 14,268 times (equal to $21,150).

“I knew it would be a lot but it was more than I expected,” Mactaggart told the BBC over the weekend. “I had expected to give around £10,000 but there you go, it was a risk I took.”

She said she hadn’t given much thought to the idea beforehand, and basically decided to do it on the spur of the moment. “I always wanted to do something quirky, because I think that’s what Comic Relief is about,” Mactaggart said.

Her idea had been to use the tweet (and subsequent retweets) to spread the message that Comic Relief was on TV that night, hopefully resulting in more charitable donations.

The enthusiastic retweeting has at least meant that Comic Relief has benefited to the tune of £14,268. “It is a pretty big chunk from my savings but I can afford it,” she said, adding that she has no intention of pulling a similar stunt in the future.

Friday’s event raised over £75 million for a slew of charities.

Social Media

‘Superwoman’ YouTuber Lilly Singh taking a break for her mental health

Claiming to be "mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted," popular YouTuber Lilly Singh has told her millions of fans she's taking a break from making videos in order to recuperate.
Digital Trends Live

DT Daily: Waymo’s driverless cars, ‘Fallout 76’ tips, and Racella

In today's episode of DT Daily, we discuss Waymo's foray into the ridesharing sector, along with various tips for making the most of the recently launched Fallout 76. We also sit down with singer Racella to chat about her new EP, Waves.
Digital Trends Live

Singer Racella talks recording, drawing inspiration from trauma

On episode 15 of DT Daily, Digital Trend's daily morning show, host Greg Nibler talked to singer-songwriter Racella about her new EP, Waves, how to make music with an iPhone, and more.
Movies & TV

Winter coming in spring? HBO reveals 'Game of Thrones' season 8 premiere date

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Computing

Hackers sold 120 million private Facebook messages, report says

Up to 120 million private Facebook messages were being sold online by hackers this fall. The breach was first discovered in September and the messages were obtained through unnamed rogue browser extensions. 
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. You're in luck -- we've gathered 23 of the best subreddits to help…
Social Media

Facebook opens pop-up stores at Macy’s, but they’re not selling the Portal

Facebook has opened pop-up stores at multiple Macy's, though they're not selling Facebook's new Portal device. Instead, they're showcasing small businesses and brands that are already popular on Facebook and Instagram.
Social Media

Facebook Messenger will soon let you delete sent messages

A feature coming to Facebook Messenger will let you delete a message for up to 10 minutes after you send it. The company promised the feature months ago and this week said it really is on its way ... "soon."
Social Media

Pinterest brings followed content front and center with full-width Pin format

Want to see Pinterest recommendations, or just Pins from followed users? Now Pinners can choose with a Pinterest Following feed update. The secondary feed eliminates recommendation and is (almost) chronological.
Smart Home

Facebook's Alexa-enabled video-calling devices begin shipping

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you speak.
Social Media

Vine fans, your favorite video-looping app is coming back as Byte

Vine fans were left disappointed in 2017 when its owner, Twitter, pulled the plug on the video-looping app. But now one of its co-founders has promised that a new version of the app, called Byte, is coming soon.
News

Social media use increases depression and anxiety, experiment shows

A study has shown for the first time a causal link between social media use and lower rates of well-being. Students who limited their social media usage to 30 minutes a day showed significant decreases in anxiety and fear of missing out.
Social Media

Twitter boss hints that an edit button for tweets may finally be on its way

Twitter has been talking for years about launching an edit button for tweets, but it still hasn't landed. This week, company boss Jack Dorsey addressed the matter again, describing a quick-edit button as "achievable."
Social Media

Facebook is rolling out a Messenger ‘unsend’ feature, and here’s how to use it

Facebook is starting to roll out a "remove message" feature for its Messenger app. It lets you delete a message in a thread within 10 minutes of sending it, and replaces it with a note telling recipients that it's been removed.