The news: Redditors viewing the mountain of illegally hacked private photos from multiple celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, are celebrating by donating to the Prostate Cancer Foundation's $1 Million Matching Grant Challenge. As of early Tuesday afternoon, donations had reached just over $6,200.
Image Credit: Prostate Cancer Foundation
The page seemed to have been originally created as a joke — frequent ejaculation can help lower the lifetime risk of prostate cancer, and J-Law's leaked nudes are being happily shuttled around Reddit. So, yeah, you get it — the whole thing was originally a masturbation joke.
Some apparently donated under the impression that Lawrence was a major donor to prostate cancer organizations, though her charitable foundation page lists other causes. The PCF page has since been changed to only refer to "The Fappening," the name of the subreddit where the nude photos are being distributed on the site. Mix-up or not, the fund has now become the No. 1 contributor listed on the PCF's website.
Facebook comments left by Redditors drawn to the donation page ranged from the mundane (do they accept PayPal?) to the pretty terrible:
On Twitter, some used the account as an excuse to goad those offended by the leak:
This isn't okay: Lawrence herself has already contacted the authorities to attempt to find the person or persons responsible for the leak of her private photos, while the FBI has also gotten involved.
Other celebrities whose nude photos have been posted are not happy either:
While others denied the photos were real:
Pretty much everyone is in agreement, however, that the leaks are a violation of the celebrities' privacy. Redditors seem to acknowledge this in passing, but mostly just want to get their greasy paws on the photos; in a statement on r/Celebs, moderator attacus138 said, "Regardless of what you think, it seems pretty scummy (to me, at least) to allow this stuff here since it was obtained without the consent of the women involved ... but for right now it is allowed in r/Celebs."
Bizarre, to say the least: The "Fappening" donors claim that they're doing so for a good cause, but really it just makes the whole mess seem scummier. Not only are they implictly admitting that they're aiding and abetting the criminal violation of women's privacy (and making a pretty half-assed attempt to atone for it), they're drawing the charity itself into an icky minefield.
On the other hand, that is a lot of money. Eeesh.
Update, 5:38 p.m.: The Prostate Cancer Foundation has officially returned the money, releasing a statement to Mic and other media:
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.
That's good news, but shame on Redditors for getting a charity tangled in this mess.