A day after a group of Reddit users managed to become the "top fundraisers" on the Prostate Cancer Foundation Web site, the charity announced that it would return all of those donations. Why? Because the money was, arguably, guilt money.
A Monday post on a subreddit dedicated to discussing -- and viewing -- recently hacked and released personal photos from a number of celebrities encouraged Redditors to donate "in honor of Jennifer Lawrence,” one of the actresses targeted by the hackers. As donations reached into the thousands, many of those donors -- who explicitly connected their support for the charity to the reaction they had to viewing the stolen photographs -- congratulated themselves on a job well done. But not everyone, including the foundation benefiting from their drive, agreed.
Here's the Prostate Cancer Foundation's statement, indicating that the organization wants nothing to do with the donations:
A post appeared on Reddit late Monday afternoon, September 1, 2014. A Reddit user directed other Reddit users to make a donation to the Prostate Cancer Foundation without the Foundation’s knowledge. We would never condone raising funds for cancer research in this manner. Out of respect for everyone involved and in keeping with our own standards, we are returning all donations that resulted from this post.
Jennifer Lawrence's spokesperson called the distribution of her personal photos "a flagrant violation of privacy" and said that "the authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence.” Model Kate Upton's attorney called the distributed photos of her client "obviously an outrageous violation of our client Kate Upton’s privacy," as Buzzfeed reported.
The cache of photos also reportedly includes images stolen from the iCloud accounts of Kirsten Dunst, Avril Lavigne, Lea Michele, McKayla Maroney and Ariana Grande, among others, some of whom have denied that the photos are authentic. If you need more details on how the who thing unfolded, The Post has a guide, here.
In any case, Reddit quickly caught wind of the rejected donations on Tuesday. At least one user had a trenchant take on the past few days: