Web campaign raises $50,000 for 89-year-old barber hit by London looters


While British Prime Minister David Cameron threatens to shut down social networks to help stop future citizen uprisings, an online word-of-mouth campaign has helped an elderly barber, who’s business was destroyed by rioters, get back on his feet.

Started by a trio of creative interns at the renowned London advertising agency BBH, the Keep Aaron Cutting campaign aims to help 89-year-old hair-cutter Aaron Biber rebuild his barbershop after looters ransacked his establishment, which he has owned and operated in London’s Tottenham neighborhood for 41 years.

The theft and destruction has left Biber with next to nothing. “I will probably have to close because I haven’t got insurance and I can’t afford the repairs,” Biber said in a statement.

So far, compassionate Internet users have donated more than £31,000, or about $50,000, at the time of this writing. This has been accomplished primarily through social networking, along with a video about Mr. Biber’s plight, and a website where concerned citizens of the world can chip in “a couple of quid,” as the site suggests.

Approximately 11,000 people have shared the website on Facebook, and about 8,500 have posted the page to Twitter. Your reporter discovered the campaign for Mr. Biber on Reddit (a community widely known for its generosity towards those less fortunate), where the link was posted six different times.

The BBH interns did not immediately return our request for comment on how much the campaign hopes to raise for Mr. Biber’s shop.

Keep Aaron Cutting is not the only online campaign hoping to get some help from the Internet at large.

A similar effort, Save Siva’s Shop, has helped raise more than $21,600 dollars for a convenience store owner (named Siva), who cannot afford to replace the merchandise that was stolen or destroyed during the riots.

In another example of Internet-spread kindness, a viral video of rioters mercilessly stealing a Sony PSP from an injured 20-year-old man prompted the company to publicly vow to replace his stolen gaming device. This came after Sony itself suffered massive damage to one of its distribution centers, which was set ablaze during London’s chaos.

Before their charitable campaigns were created, both Mr. Biber and Siva benefited from having pictures of their destroyed businesses published across the Internet. Mr. Biber appeared in a photo by Getty photographer Dan Kitwood (above), which was published in the Boston Globe‘s popular photo-journalism blog The Big Picture. Siva appeared in a photo by Reuters photographer Olivia Harris, which appeared on The Atlantic‘s In Focus photo blog, which also shows the photo of Mr. Biber.

Watch a video of Mr. Biber below:

Keep Aaron Cutting from BBH Barn on Vimeo.

Social Media

Dine and dash(board): Make a Yelp reservation from your car’s control panel

Already in the car, but can't decide where to eat? Yelp Reservations can now be added to some dashboard touchscreens. Yelp Reservations searches for restaurants within 25 miles of the vehicle's location.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

Feeling nostalgic? Here are the 25 best Sega Genesis games

Although the company has since fallen into obscurity, Sega was an indisputable titan throughout the '90s. That said, here are 25 best Sega Genesis games that helped define its fabled decade.

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. 
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.

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 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.

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."