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Fake Charity and Kindness

A week ago a Facebook video created by rodeo coach Paige Yore went viral with over 20 million views.   In the video Yore describes an encounter she had on Black Friday with a teenaged cashier at a Wal-Mart who had allegedly lost his mother to suicide that morning.

The problem? Not much of it is factual. Wal-Mart managers were alerted to the video after people began calling the store asking to help the cashier in question. Upon reviewing the surveillance camera and talking to the cashier, Wal-Mart released a statement that the statements Yore made in the video were false. Snopes.com has also determined this viral video is false.

From an etiquette perspective, it is generally considered bad form to brag about your charitable giving and especially to exploit someone else’s alleged misery so that the net effect is that you gain more from the publicity than the alleged victim stood to gain. There is a delicate balance between informing a large group of people to an opportunity to serve and looking too much like you are doing it to get your ego stroked. What tips the scale in this situation is that Yore presents herself as the savior and by doing so, she has a reasonable expectation that people will praise her for her alleged generosity and kindness and as expected, a whole lot of people do exactly that. In the case of Paige Yore, observers noted that she had attempted to create other such “feel good” videos but none had resonated with viewers nor reached the level of viewership that the most recent one did.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • LadyV December 10, 2015, 6:56 am

    Sad that someone has to try to gain attention by lying about being a good person. Even sadder that she probably IS a basically good person – but one with some serious issues.

    • lakey December 10, 2015, 5:55 pm

      “but one with some serious issues.”
      Exactly. There are people who have a need for attention.

      Also, stories like this are just a little too pat. I went to the Snopes site, and the frightening thing was that the news people seemed to accept this at face value. It was random people on the internet who were skeptical. You’d think that news people would have seen enough of life to be at least a little skeptical.

      • Amanda H. December 10, 2015, 7:35 pm

        I’ve come to learn that news people seem very lax about fact-checking. I recall reading an article several months ago about how one person was able to convince many news outlets and scientific journals that eating chocolate would actually cause weight loss, and even the journals that weren’t supposed to publish anything without intensive peer review still kind of skipped that part and just quoted what they were told by the guy submitting the information in the first place.

      • Cat December 14, 2015, 5:05 pm

        I know people who will believe anything if it is on the Internet. My grandmother was that way about television.
        She used to watch “Adam 12”. When Martin Milner and Kent McCord came to Tampa, she was convinced that they were there to solve a big criminal case that the local police could not solve. She did not know what an actor was or that TV series were fictional and we could not convince her otherwise.

  • Jinx December 10, 2015, 7:28 am

    This is just bizarre. What inspired her to lie about a good deed instead of actually doing one, even if she was going to humblebrag about it?

    The backlash she will face over this from the Internet will be terrible.

    Honestly, I think when people brag about how charitable they are, it shows insecurity.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with feel good stories. Even fictional ones can be inspiring, but this story was quite self serving.

  • abby December 10, 2015, 8:25 am

    This is really interesting to me. I haven’t really followed this particular story, but I am sick to death of going on Facebook and my newsfeed showing a friend of a friend bragging about their charitable deed (it shows up on my newsfeed because someone on my friends list “liked” it). If you were out at a restaurant and you saw a homeless man and you invited him to join you for dinner, then took him to Target and bought him a winter jacket and boots, I salute you. That was awesome. But I don’t see why you had to go on Facebook and tell everyone you did it unless you only did it looking for accolades.

    Sometimes I think a Facebook post is warranted- like for example, in a town close to me, restaurant workers were horribly disrespectful and unkind to a homeless man, and this was witnessed by someone who wrote about it on Facebook. Although she did pay for his meal, the point of her post was not to humblebrag about her kindness, but rather to use social media to organize a boycott against that particular restaurant (for the record, the restaurant was a chain, the corporate headquarters were duly mortified and looked to make amends). That’s different. But when you’re moved to do a random act of kindness, I wish people would just do it rather than look for attention and praise.

    • Vermin8 December 10, 2015, 2:19 pm

      I get tired of that too. I have an acquaintance on my FB feed start a post with “I am so glad God put me in a position to help this person!” then told a story about how she helped an elderly person out of the rain and gave him an umbrella. When everyone posted about how wonderful she is, she replied “I wasn’t posting about me! I was thanking God for putting me in the man’s path!” Uh…yeah.
      But I would also hesitate to respond to a call for a boycott unless I’ve got the business’s side of the story. EG, being “disrespectful” to a homeless man. I went to a restaurant (chain, again) on one Christmas evening and the restaurant was kind enough to let a homeless man in. He was wandering around, dancing in a area that was not a dance floor (this place didn’t have one). He leaned over my plate and asked me for my leftovers. The kicker though was when I heard him right behind me coughing – and when I turned around he had drool dripping from his mouth onto the floor. Not a good situation for a restaurant. One could say that the restaurant personnel should have kept a better eye on him but they were busy waiting on customers. I think their only other options were to not let him in (and they would have gotten blasted for that) or to call the police (and they would have gotten blasted for that, too).
      Ironically it hit me that maybe the chains in your friend’s post and my experience were the same and their reaction to my incident led to a policy that resulted in your hometown’s experience. Yes, it’s a long shot but you never know.

      After years of seeing emotional pleas for either support or boycott that turn out to be one sided, exaggerated, or an out and out lie (as in the case of the original post) I disregard all of these viral videos and post meant to get an emotional reaction.

    • Lacey December 14, 2015, 11:11 am

      Ugh, yes. This.

  • Devin December 10, 2015, 9:21 am

    This is why I check Snopes before I post anything on the internet. Also, if the person trying to get a feel good story viral already has their own YouTube channel, I’d be skeptical. Its like the guy who started the “Starbucks is Anti-Christmas” red cup viral video. No one really cared about the red holiday cups, and no one seemed to notice that their holiday cups were more seasonal themed than specific religious holiday themed in years past as well.
    What was she trying to accomplish from her post? I didn’t hear any call to action, or mention of helping raise awareness for suicide prevention, or how to get help if you are suicidial. This is right up there with ‘like my post if you know someone with cancer’ and most social media ‘awareness campaigns’. Go donate money, or time, or petition your lawmakers for change!!

  • just4kicks December 10, 2015, 9:23 am

    I get what this woman was trying to accomplish (I think), but went about it in the wrong way.
    It seems to be biting her on the butt big time.

    I heard a story on my local news last week about a woman picking up a birthday cake for her (adult) sister.
    She asked the only lady (she could see) behind the bakery counter to please write “Happy Birthday Mandy” (I think that was her name, but not important to the story).
    The lady did happily and the customer went to pay for the cake.
    When she did, the cashier noticed the writing looked like it had been written by a small child, very sloppy, but still legible.
    The cashier called the manager (over the protests of the lady buying it, she said it was just fine), and the manager said she could get another cake and someone else would do the decorations.
    This lady, again, said it was wonderful, and she thinks the gal did her best, and she didn’t want to insult or upset the bakery worker.
    The manager then informed her that the worker has Aspergers, and she is NOT supposed to write on any cakes.
    The woman bought it as is, and then went back to the bakery to thank the young woman again.
    I believe the story went viral on Facebook, and the customer said she did NOT post it to gain accolades for herself, but to remind folks what’s important in the world….kindness, manners and consideration of our fellow human beings.
    Who cares if the writing on a birthday is a little “off”?
    This lady didn’t want to upset the hard working bakery gal, Aspergers or not.
    A beautiful and timely lesson, in my opinion.

    • AFS December 10, 2015, 10:25 am

      While Asperger’s is a variety of autism, I believe the baker in question was not that sort of autistic. Aspies are often high-functioning intellectually but have problems reading social cues.

      • Dee December 10, 2015, 12:33 pm

        AFS – Why do believe “high-functioning” means no gross and/or fine motor skill impairment?

      • just4kicks December 10, 2015, 5:46 pm

        My sincere apologies if I got that wrong, I’ll have to fact check.

      • Anonymouse December 11, 2015, 8:13 am

        AFS- People with Asperger’s still sometimes have difficulty with writing and motor skills (both fine and gross), however these impairments are usually less pronounced than people with lower functioning ASD…

        I had a student with Asperger’s who really struggles with writing neatly. While she is a wonderful, kind, intelligent young lady, her condition makes her ill-suited to decorating birthday cakes (at least, not professionally). (Disclaimer: This is not to say all people with Asperger’s have this specific impairment. As someone told me once,”If you know one person with ASD, you know one person with ASD.”)

    • jocelyn December 10, 2015, 10:30 am

      In my opinion, it was a horrible story. The author admitted that she accepted the cake because she thought those at the party would get a good laugh out of the cake. Then, the employee was outed by her co-workers as disabled, and they clustered around to take pictures of the cake, presumably to share for the amusement of their friends. How did the employee in question feel, to realize that her co-workers were mocking her to their friends? The cashier could have discreetly called the manager, she could have said, ‘Oh, dear me, Cindy Lou hasn’t been trained in cake decorating, I can get someone who is to re-do your cake.’ without pointing out Cindy Lou is autistic. I know I’d hate to read on the internet that people were laughing at my best efforts to provide customer service. The customer doesn’t get a pass for being nice to a disabled person, as she didn’t know the person was disabled when she interacted with her. As for posting ‘what’s important’, why did the author feel that this story about her politeness was so newsworthy…if she didn’t think that she’d done something special by not rejecting the cake?

      • just4kicks December 10, 2015, 5:48 pm

        @Jocelyn: Respectfully, I didn’t say in my comment that the lady who bought the cake did so because everyone would get a laugh out of it.
        Did you read the original story, if I missed that point, then yes I agree that is not a very nice thing to do.

        • just4kicks December 10, 2015, 5:51 pm

          And, also, again I may be mistaken, but I think this lady put it on her Facebook and it was passed around until it went viral and was picked up by the media.
          I saw the story on the Philly news.

        • just4kicks December 11, 2015, 7:02 am

          ….And I mean, I did not read the article itself, I saw the story on the news….
          My “did you read the story?” comes off as pissy….I didn’t mean it THAT way….Sorry! 🙂

    • Shoebox December 10, 2015, 12:50 pm

      Sorry, but I have to agree with Jocelyn. The autistic person in this story was horribly patronised within the story itself, and with the story’s publication is now having her humiliation shamelessly used, without permission,
      to make others feel good about themselves. It’s frankly a bit creepy.

    • AccountingIsFun December 10, 2015, 2:58 pm

      I saw an interview with the decorator on T.V. This morning and she was so gracious and a little befuddled by all the attention – she said she was doing her best and that we should remember to accept folks for all of their wonderful differences. I feel bad that the cashier and manager might have been hurtful to the worker, but the cake purchaser showed grace, kindness, and good manners in this situation.

      • just4kicks December 11, 2015, 4:38 am

        I wish I would’ve seen that, maybe I can pull it up on the computer.
        I’m so happy she wasn’t upset or offended.

  • Wild Irish Rose December 10, 2015, 10:10 am

    Personally, I have always been of the opinion that good deeds and charitable donations should be anonymous. And it REALLY doesn’t count if the person who does it goes around telling people he did it. What’s the point of doing something nice for someone if the only reason you’re doing it is so people can pat you on the back and tell you what a fine individual you are?

    • wren December 11, 2015, 9:59 am

      I completely agree. It is my belief that we should do our good deeds in secret. And we shouldn’t do good deeds because we want rewards. Those who talk about their good deeds and get lots of strokes — well, hear me: they have had their reward.

  • Lerah99 December 10, 2015, 10:19 am

    Unfortunately the internet is a place where nothing can be taken at face value.

    There was a popular post going around my Facebook feed where this woman stated her son was in his Marine Uniform and someone spat at him. He came home and told his mother how sad he was that “Everyone hates us”.

    The problem is the story isn’t true. The woman tried to launch two different “GoFundMe” accounts to gain money from it. And neither she nor her son would discuss the incident with reporters or allow any fact checking.

    Outside of people who are trying to rake in some ill gotten cash off their false stories, you have the people who want to be liked.

    There are people in this world who desperately want to be liked and admired. They want people to think they are awesome. And they are also incredibly insecure. So they will invent stories like this. It’s really sad.

    I know a woman (we went to high school together) like this who runs an “animal rescue”.
    The problem is, she doesn’t actually run an animal rescue. She basically takes dogs and cats out of people’s yards and then creates some story about how she heroically saved this poor, pitiful animal.
    Then she drops the animal off at the SPCA.

    The police have actually had to get involved because people get really upset when their pet is kidnapped and then turned into the SPCA with some made up story of abuse.

    • Kat December 10, 2015, 3:47 pm

      Munchausen by Internet was proposed to be included in the DSM-V, anyone know if it made it in?

    • Amanda H. December 10, 2015, 7:27 pm

      Thank you for including the note about the police getting involved, because all I could think was that what the woman you know is doing is just plain illegal. Did she not realize that she’s doing more harm than good with her “rescuing”? My goodness.

      • Lerah99 December 11, 2015, 8:33 am

        She is damaged in a way where that doesn’t matter.
        She NEEDS people, strangers even, to praise her and tell her how amazing she is.

        I have no idea if she is deluded enough to actually think she is “rescuing” the well fed dog she took out of some neighbor’s backyard or if she just doesn’t care so long as strangers on Facebook tell her how wonderful it is that she saved all the poor defenseless creatures.

        She has posted about how she feels the police involvement is harassment and the law has no heart sending these animals back to their abusers. She insists that people have told the police lies about her and the SPCA officials that will no longer take animals from her must be on the cops’ payroll.

        She has used the phrase “I’m not crazy. That’s an incredibly hurtful lie spread by my ex-girlfriend/stalker.” at least a dozen times in the last couple months.
        Her ex-girlfriend is living 5,000 miles away in Hawaii.

        The whole thing is very sad all around.

  • Ergala December 10, 2015, 10:38 am

    Ms. Yore also set up a Gofundme page for the cashier as well. She went on to say she had called corporate and made sure he received paid time off to grieve for his mother. It all came out that she did indeed lie. The mother in question isn’t even dead.

    • Dee December 10, 2015, 12:34 pm

      And there’s the key to the whole story – it’s about the money. Motivation discovered.

    • AS December 10, 2015, 12:46 pm

      Really? Wonder where all the money from the gofundme page is going to!

    • Amanda H. December 10, 2015, 7:40 pm

      What gets me is that according to the information on the linked Snopes article, Yore continues to insist that Walmart is lying and she is not, even though Walmart has basically said they’ve reviewed the security footage, seen the actual cashier Yore is talking about, and the incident did not go down as described at all. The cashier is even confused as to why Yore is saying his mother is dead. And yet Yore continues to insist that what she says happened. I find myself wondering if she’s really managed to delude herself into thinking her account is actually true.

  • JeanLouiseFinch December 10, 2015, 10:42 am

    Wow! Really creepy. I wouldn’t want to be her neighbor. I would expect dogs to go “missing” in her neighborhood, so she could “find” them.

    • Dee December 10, 2015, 12:37 pm

      JeanLouiseFinch – There’s a person near us who steals pets for rescuing but she doesn’t return them or try to extort the owners for money. She’s been caught but not all the animals have been located to be returned to their rightful owners.

      • Calli Arcale December 11, 2015, 12:18 pm

        We had something like that happen in my area a few years ago, and it basically destroyed the local Humane Society — they ended up having to merge with another shelter, because the woman who was caught stealing a neighbor’s dog to rescue was the actual president of the shelter. You’d think someone like that had enough validation for doing the right thing and saving animals that they wouldn’t have to stoop to outright theft and blatant lies. But no.

  • Lisa H. December 10, 2015, 11:21 am

    What is wrong with some people? Suicide is NOT something to joke about, spoof, or to be taken lightly. It is a very serious and tragic event and should not be mocked. I speak from experience. Also, doing a ‘good deed’ and then broadcasting it is really bad form, almost akin to walking around with a sandwich board with “I’m a good person” written on it. If you want to do a good deed, do so, but keep it to yourself; the gratefulness of the recipient should be all of the accolades you need. Shame on her and anyone else who behaves in this manner.

  • stacey December 10, 2015, 11:25 am

    Wow! It’s sad that we have to be skeptical of any little bit of good news that comes our way, especially during this season. So much of what passes for truth on social media is either an outright fabrication or a grossly embellished version of actual events. We are all familiar with the expression “consider the source”. It’s difficult to conceive of the depth of addiction to approval and positive regard from large numbers of nameless strangers that such a person would require in order to post something so deceptive. I wonder how many of the 20 million or so who viewed her video will become aware that they have subscribed to a lie?

    • David December 10, 2015, 3:37 pm

      One of my favorite posts at Slacktivist references what happens when her 20 million viewers find out that she lied. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2010/09/19/jackie-at-the-crossroads/

      Some people will double down and decide that Walmart must be lying.

      It’s very sad that she felt the need to do something like this – there are plenty of actual uplifting stories out there – no need to make one up.

  • Carolyn December 10, 2015, 11:34 am

    Ugh. What a narcissist. She drags a cashier and his mom into her lie designed to make her look good and promote her videos.

    All this stuff about her heart being in the right place, etc. misses something key to me: every day we are presented with opportunities to make a difference, but rarely are they huge and dramatic opportunities. Most of the time it’s the old man trying to reach something off a high shelf at the store, a lost kid, a person trying to open the door with their hands full, etc. For me, helping others when I can is more than enough, but I guess these little things aren’t flashy enough for her so she had to invent something bigger. I wonder how many people she passed in that store who could have used a hand or even a smile but she ignored because she was lost in her head inventing a story starring her as the person who gets to teach us all a lesson on how to be more like her.

    We need more people to help in small ways – after 9/11 I was answering phones at the Red Cross – when I would tell people that we did not need them and their children to come help dig at Ground Zero (…I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the calls like this – for real – people wanting to bring their teens to dig through debris to find human remains and getting mad when we explain you have to be trained in disaster recovery to help at ground zero …) but we could use help organizing the donations, 9 times out of 1o the caller got angry and said that if they couldn’t go to Ground Zero they didn’t want to help. When I would mention suggested donations that were more for the rescue dogs than the human rescue workers people would get mad at me because they wanted to help people, not animals … the animals who were working hard to help more people than these callers or I realistically could. Gee – all I did was answer phones … guess since I didn’t lift any girders myself my contributions were for naught? No – people who are in it to give, give what is needed, not what they need to give.

    You know what? Last night I did something really generous for someone I love – I was Johnny-on-the-spot and I was able to make things okay in a way the person couldn’t have done on their own. And as much as the person was grateful, I was most grateful – it was amazing to be in a position to help, to be able to make it ok for someone I love. I could not have done this a year ago, but last night? It made up for so many times when I had to sit by helplessly. And I am involved in a charity project for the holidays this year that has really challenged me – it has made me confront my privilege and gain new perspective on how other people’s lives work and, again, it would not have been possible just last year. The fact I can help is reward enough, but what I get out of it is so much more.

    You are a better example to others when you practice what you preach and keep the actual preaching to a bare minimum. You don’t inspire people by telling them how inspirational you are, you inspire people by being your happiest, healthiest self. When people see someone getting it right and feeling good about it, they want that too and that is more effective in inspiring others to be kinder and more compassionate with lies on a video.

    Lying about how awesome you are is not inspiring, it’s gross.

    • Amanda H. December 10, 2015, 8:30 pm

      Hear hear. Everything you just said explains my stance much better than I could.

    • twoferrets December 14, 2015, 10:10 am

      “…people who are in it to give, give what is needed, not what they need to give.”

      This is a wonderful sentiment and one that we’d all do well to keep in mind.

  • Rose Lloyd December 10, 2015, 11:39 am

    I was complete snookered by the video. I’m sad that the young woman felt the need to make it up in the first place. Sad.

  • lkb December 10, 2015, 11:43 am

    I had not heard of this story until it was posted here. While I appreciate heart-warming stories as much as the next person, I’m afraid it is turning into heart-warming overload. There are more and more videos and articles of military homecomings, proposals, and also charitable giving stories — too much to actually keep up with.

    I am happy about the true ones but feel it is putting increasing pressure on others. For example, prospective grooms feel pressured into an over-the-top proposal and even high-school kids are creating over-the-top invitations to the prom. Can’t a couple just have a quiet, personal moment all their own? Can’t an Army returnee just go home without having to plan an elaborate TV moment or elaborate secret plans? What is more important, the proposal or homecoming, or the TV/social media broadcast?

    And, pertaining to the original issue in this post, can’t one simply give with the left hand without the right one knowing what it’s doing? That’s how it’s supposed to be. It seems this woman got it wrong. It is more blessed to give compassion than receive media attention.

  • Michelle December 10, 2015, 11:46 am

    Maybe it’s just me, but if I had lost my mother to suicide THAT morning, I would not be at work, even with the threat of being fired. That should have been the first of many red flags for that story. Most people with a You Tube channel are going to post about everything they do.

  • JD December 10, 2015, 12:28 pm

    Did she make up the whole thing, then? The employee didn’t lie to her to excuse his or her (alleged)sloppy work that day? At first I thought she was repeating what she’d been told, and she’d been told a lie, but that’s not what happened, it seems.
    This is all so weird. She had to know that if she said which Walmart she was at, all the employees there would know if it was true or not, at least to the extent that they surely would know if someone’s mother had just committed suicide.
    That’s just waaaay out there, to do that. I have an in-law who tells tall-tales, but they are always about him doing something we know he couldn’t have done, told just to family, and we overlook his excursions into fantasy with patience. I’ve not had the experience of someone telling a sob story to curry favor with the general public, thank heaven.
    I also agree that vaunting one’s charity to others pretty well negates the idea of one’s being charitable.

    • Calli Arcale December 11, 2015, 12:20 pm

      According to Walmart, she did make it up, because they have security cam footage that shows there was no incident at all.

    • Aletheia December 12, 2015, 1:21 pm

      Her story is mostly lies, with just enough truth to make it believable at first glance. According to the Snopes.com article (“Tales of Yore” on that site, if you want to find it):

      “According to Walmart, Yore did visit a Walmart store in Pueblo, but the interaction she described in her account did not take place: a review of surveillance video that captured the encounter revealed no evidence that anyone yelled at the cashier, no evidence that the cashier and Yore hugged, and no evidence that Yore gave the cashier money. Moreover, reported the Walmart spokesperson, the cashier said that his mother was still alive and that he didn’t know what Yore was talking about. Walmart allowed that “there was some tension between the cashier and the customer in front of [Yore] because of a language barrier,” but asserted that “none of details in [Yore’s] Facebook video are true.”‘

      So… yeah. She lied about all of the major things.

  • Shoebox December 10, 2015, 1:03 pm

    Checking Snopes should be automatic after every Facebook session, no matter how inspiring the latest viral post is. It’s what they call ‘glurge’, and it’s very commonly presented as a true story when it’s anything but. Also, very often the ‘inspiring’ lessons it teaches don’t stand up to even the most basic application of real compassion or even common sense (like the one with the autistic cake decorator above: the moral is contained in the fact that this woman didn’t want to shame the disabled employee, so she… Posted it online, complete with a readily identifiable photo and details of how everyone had a good laugh at it first?)

    Bottom line is, kindness has become a surefire way for needy people to get themselves approval and attention – maybe even money and fame, as seems to have been Ms. Yore’s ultimate goal. Any ‘inspirational true story’ online should be read with that in mind.

    • Amanda H. December 10, 2015, 8:42 pm

      Checking Snopes should really be the first order of business before clicking the “share” button. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to respond to a mass e-mail or shared FB post from a family member with the relevant Snopes link before. Whether it’s “listen to this inspiring story!” or “hey, this neat once-in-a-lifetime-but-not-really thing is happening soon!” or “warning for ladies before you do get gas/go shopping/hire a babysitter/get a facial/whatever crazy thing we want to scare you out of doing this week.” You’d think some things would ring false just with a critical reading or a quick check of a calendar, but even those tend to slip through.

      • LeighW December 14, 2015, 12:24 pm

        Ugh, yes.

        No Aunt so-and-so, Facebook is not banning pictures of Nativity Scenes, refuges are not getting three times as much aid from the government as seniors, and God damnit do NOT put raw eggs on burns!!

    • Lila December 11, 2015, 10:58 am

      My brother and I are pretty close on the political scale and don’t disagree to often but sometimes he buys into an occasional conspiracy theory. Just a few days ago he repeated an anecdote about President Obama and I said, “I’m sure that’s not true. Did you check Snopes?” He asked what Snopes was. I was shocked as he is pretty internet savvy. I told him to google the story and see what came up. The first google entry was the Snopes article disproving the Obama story. He was a bit embarrassed that he bought into a blatant lie so easily. He is a smart guy but even the smart ones can be fooled when the fiction is repeated so often it seems like fact.

      • twoferrets December 14, 2015, 10:15 am

        Sadly there are now people of Political Persuasion A who insist that Snopes is a tool of Political Persuasion B. It’s an attitude that’s right in line with “Bad Jackie” in the Slacktivist link David posted above: the truth is only true if I believe it.

  • Becca December 10, 2015, 1:41 pm

    Just another reason whenever I donate at a store collecting for an event, I put a pets name or something silly on the tags they’ll ask you to put your name on to decorate the wall with to show their progress.

    Do things because you want to not to get hand claps.

    The only time I did really run to social media was when I had a cashier buy my lunch the day after I had paid for some one else’s order at the drive thru as a “pay it forward” moment I was having. The next day the girl remembered me because the person in the car behind me actually flipped a lid over the treat. The cashier wanted to give me the sandwich I paid for since the other person was so oddly outraged.

    One other time I started a chain reaction of buying drinks for the next person. So that barista told me about it gleefully the next time she saw me. That’s when I share, when it spreads the word or theres another story attached, there needs to be more than “Aren’t I kind???”. My friends and family already know I’m that person, they dont need their Facebook clogged up with every time I hold the door open for a person.

    • LadyV December 11, 2015, 10:27 am

      Wait a sec – someone was OUTRAGED because he/she got a free lunch??? What is WRONG with people? I not only would have been grateful, but probably would have done a “pay it forward” the next time I was at the drive-thru.

      • Becca December 11, 2015, 2:33 pm

        The cashier was floored, that’s for sure. I honestly want sure what to think.

        One time at Coffee Place, I said I wanted to pay for the car behind me and the cashier was like “But their order is $20”. “I dont care? I want to pay for it.” Then I got grilled a bit more.

        Some people just don’t understand the concept of random acts of kindness. So the outrage may have been their shock and disbelief that good things can happen

    • Ergala December 11, 2015, 11:28 pm

      A store where will get on the loud speaker and thank the customer by name that just donated to whatever cause is happening at that store. Because of this I won’t give them a donation…..

  • LEMon December 10, 2015, 2:34 pm

    This isn’t about someone doing a good deed and then publicizing it. This is about someone creating a fake story about them doing a good deed and publicizing it. Her story is false. It never happened.
    And it doesn’t sound like she has apologized as she still claims it happened though no one can find footage of the interaction or the young man.

    She says she wants to motivate. Motivate to do what?

  • Lyn December 10, 2015, 2:42 pm

    I, too, am sick of people forwarding stories like this on Facebook without even checking their validity. Sometimes (depending on who it is fowarding it to me) I will respond to them and say something like, “Check snopes” or “This has been proven to be false; see this URL”. Others, I just consider the source and let it go.

    PLEASE DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE SHARING OR RE-POSTING THINGS LIKE THIS. Not everything posted on Facebook is true!!!!!!!

    Thanks, I feel better now. 🙂

  • ColoradoCloudy December 10, 2015, 2:57 pm

    What frustrated me in reading about this was how many people said something like, “What difference does it make if it was fake, her point is true – be kind, you don’t know what someone else is going through, blah, blah, blah”, even going as far as to call people names who expressed disapproval. Like as long as you have a “good” message, you can lie through your teeth and it’s fine.

  • iwadasn December 10, 2015, 4:28 pm

    I don’t understand why anyone would go to all that trouble to fake a good deed. Why not just use that same time and effort to ACTUALLY do a good deed?

    • Lady Macbeth December 11, 2015, 1:07 am


    • Lerah99 December 11, 2015, 9:18 am

      Because that might require effort, time, or resources on their part.
      This way they can Netflix while typing up some fake “inspiring” thing on Facebook.
      And then they just wait for everyone to tell them how awesome they are.

      All the warm fuzzy feeling without a shred of possible discomfort.

  • Amy December 10, 2015, 6:41 pm

    I had a similar situation where I live. A person on Facebook posted a video about some wonderful deed she had done for someone and insisted that she wasn’t posting to get credit, although she responded to each and every accolade she received. The story turned out to be somewhat different than what she said, and as soon as it became clear that she had misrepresented the facts of the story, she disappeared. I have no problem with giving people receiving credit where credit is due, but I am always suspicious of someone who seems to be seeking out the attention.

  • Libby December 10, 2015, 7:19 pm

    This isn’t an etiquette thing. People make up internet stories and post videos they think will capture a reader’s attention so they can make money. The more clicks a web page gets, the more money you can make from advertisers on the page. You know those videos on Facebook where they say, “You won’t believe what happens next!” They’re making money with every click. Even better, if you can get people to buy a sob story you’ve posted on a gofundme account, you can make lots of money.

  • Biscuitgirl December 10, 2015, 9:58 pm

    I see people like these as having a narcissistic personality disorder. If you aren’t familiar with mental disorders they make for a good read.

    On my Facebook I had an acquaintance who would always brag about his good deeds. Personally I think things should be done in secret. Not broadcasted unless it is to help an issue, rather than be self serving. Sometimes it’s all about how you word something. There was a lot of “I”, and “ME” in the posts of my acquaintance. It was getting too obnoxious. In the end I deleted him because if it. Word had it he cursed out his girlfriend one day, and ruined his good guy imagine. She was a really nice person too.

  • Lenore December 11, 2015, 2:49 am

    I think in some cases it’s ok to “brag” about good deeds – especially when you include information as to how you (general you) can also help. I do agree that some people do it to stroke their own egos, and it’s not so much about actual deed itself. However, I do find it inspiring when someone will do something for someone else that cannot do anything in return for them.

    There’s a site I go to when I get too depressed reading the news. It includes happy stories about people that invent things to help others (such as a cheaper and faster pancreatic cancer detection), do drives for various organisations etc. Most of these stories are from news outlets where someone saw or heard about the deed and wanted to spread the word. So it’s not quite the “I’m SUCH a GOOD person, LOOK WHAT I DID!” type of situation as this one.

    I try to do one good deed a day, but I don’t make posts about it. But if someone were to see me doing it and wanted to share the story, I’d be fine with it as long as they didn’t include my name or picture. And I sure as kittycat litter wouldn’t make up a story about something that happened, people are really good at fact finding (one of my friends does that for a living, she scares me a little), and I just don’t see the point in lying,

    • LadyV December 11, 2015, 10:29 am

      Lenore, could you post the address for that site? I think most of us could use it at least once in awhile!

    • Devin December 11, 2015, 12:04 pm

      I agree. I have a friend who recently posted about an Angel tree in our city. She talked about how easy it is to pick an Angel, where to go, what the expectations were. She also posted that she had selected two families and if any of her friends would like to help her with those families she’d love to shower them with gifts. Was there a brag, a bit, but it was aimed at a small audience (just people on her personal Facebook page) and included information on how to help.
      I do a monthly volunteer event, and the organizers encourage people to share the event information via social media since the sponsor of the event is a digital marketing group. They openly state they are trying to partner charity work with marketing for the benefit of everyone. By sharing, I’ve encouraged several of my friends to get involved, but my Facebook profile is private so only my friends can see anything I do (it’s not going to ‘go viral’). By doing this, the marketing group has been able to feed over 1 million people in our area, and were featured on the Today show.

  • AS December 12, 2015, 7:34 am

    My hometown was hit by massive flooding recently (I don’t live there anymore, and neither do I have family. But because I was brought up there, I have a lot of friends, some very close childhood friends, and/or their families who haven’t moved out). There was a massive volunteer rescue effort, and a lot of it was through social media. Unfortunately, I was skeptical about any of the posts for a while (which were about friends/relatives who needed rescue, people who can offer services like their home/internet/telephone/medical expertise/etc., emergencies like people going into labor, etc.) for a while because of all the trolls that have been around. But then, many people around started calling up or making contact with the people, and started the hashtag #Verified. I never knew that I’d come to love a hashtag in my life.

    The thing is, in all the posts that people kept posting and reposting, I didn’t see a single post with the original poster saying something in the lines of “there are 5 people living in my house whose houses were flooded. I feel so blessed…”. If anyone said it, they simply got ignored. But posts like “our house is dry, and we have space for 5 people in our house”, or “we have internet, and we can recharge your pre-paid phones if you are out of talktime”, or “I am a doctor, and I can do deliveries for anyone going on labor” kept getting posted several times. And of course, a lot of people appreciated them too.

  • christine December 12, 2015, 5:08 pm

    This is called ” Narcissism” is it’s purest form .

  • Pillbug December 14, 2015, 12:06 am

    I’m already tired of folks passing this around on Facebook, and then exclaiming that even if the story isn’t true, we should all just get the point if what she’s saying and be kinder to others. If that was the point, then, why lie? Why make up anything at all?

    Do we really need to hear how some poor worker was abused by circumstances and people, and then rescued by the bestest, most selfless person ever to be inspired to not be d**ks to other human beings? No. Her video was never about spreading a positive message about how to treat each other. It was only ever meant to point out that only SHE took time to help/listen/donate. Everyone else either didn’t care at all, or was actively abusive. And we should be more like her. The greatest angel in the Target, thank goodness she posted the video so we could all appreciate her!

    And now she is claiming that Target is lying about the security footage for some reason. Must be the war on Christmas and good people!

    • AS December 14, 2015, 10:04 am

      True. If she wants a people-doing-good video, why not make a short documentary-style film and post it, where she is not the protagonist (even if she plays a character who is the protagonist) ? Oh! Wait… she’ll not get all the ego-strokes of how wonderful an angel she is…

    • Blake December 15, 2015, 2:39 am

      Even if all the facts in the story were 100% true, and the worker’s mother had committed suicide, why would it be a good idea for the entire world to know abut this person’s very personal problems?

      I think she could have gotten her point across just as effectively if she were more ambiguous about the nature of the crisis the cashier was facing.