Ve­rac­ity of posts ap­peal­ing for money has to be checked

China Daily (USA) - - COMMENT -

LUO ER, A WRITER IN SHEN­ZHEN in South China’s Guang­dong prov­ince, re­cently pub­lished an ar­ti­cle via the do­mes­tic so­cial me­dia plat­for­mWeChat seek­ing help for his 6-year-old daugh­ter who suf­fers from leukemia. His post was re­posted more than 100,000 times and Luo re­ceived over 2 mil­lion yuan ($290,066) in do­na­tions. How­ever, re­ports say he co­op­er­ated with a com­mer­cial com­pany to spec­u­late on his daugh­ter’s ill­ness. Bei­jingNews com­ments:

Any­body hav­ing read Luo’s post will gain the im­pres­sion the fam­ily are strug­gling and ex­hausted be­cause of the girl’s dis­ease and need do­na­tions to sur­vive.

How­ever, the re­al­ity is far from that. Luo is not tremen­dously rich, yet he has three apart­ments, one in Shen­zhen and two in neigh­bor­ing Dong­guan, and he re­ceived enough in do­na­tions to cover the cost of his daugh­ter’s med­i­cal treat­ment.

Worse, Luo co­op­er­ated with a com­mer­cial com­pany to spec­u­late on his daugh­ter’s mis­for­tune. The com­pany pub­lished his story on its of­fi­cialWeChat ac­count in or­der to at­tract more fol­low­ers, and promised to do­nate 2 yuan for each re­post­ing of the story.

Luo has re­sponded to the grow­ing crit­i­cism by promis­ing to do­nate any sur­plus money he re­ceives to char­ity.

Calls for help are rather com­mon on so­cial net­works, and ev­ery time one proves false, it hard­ens peo­ple’s hearts.

Yet it is quite dif­fi­cult for or­di­nary peo­ple to check whether some­body call­ing for help on­line truly needs it.

Only the au­thor­i­ties can do the nec­es­sary back­ground checks. It is time the au­thor­i­ties strength­ened their reg­u­la­tion of on­line do­na­tions, by check­ing the ver­ity of peo­ple’s pleas for help, and en­sure those play­ing on peo­ple’s heart­strings for ul­te­rior mo­tives pay for their mis­deeds.

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