A Member of Parliament in the UK came up with a novel way to use social media to donate money to the BBC’s Comic Relief charity fundraising efforts last Friday. As a result of the actions of Twitter users, Labour MP Fiona MacTaggart has given on £14,000 to the cause.
Taking to Twitter on Friday night, the Slough representative posted the following message:
I will give £1.00 to Comic relief for every retweet of this message before 9pm—
fiona mactaggart (@fionamacmp) March 15, 2013
In the 35 minutes between posting the update and the 9pm deadline, Fiona MacTaggart’s message had been retweeted 14,268 times, equating to a donation of £14,268 to Comic Relief. Thanking the Twitter users for being generous on her behalf, she also admitted that she had been naive, not expecting so many people to have taken her up on the offer:
“I knew it would be a lot but it was more than I expected… I had expected to give around £10,000 but there you go, it was a risk I took”
While some of the more cynical observers are claiming this to be a publicity stunt, and that she would “probably claim it back on her expenses form anyway” – which she said will not be the case – her actions helped raise awareness and stirred others into donating. The Slough MP added:
“Someone from Australia retweeted it and said she gave 30 Australian dollars so that’s rather wonderful”.
For more on this story you can watch a short clip of Fiona MacTaggart speaking with the BBC about the whole episode.