John Scalzi has been studying our friend Bjarte Foshaug – he’s adopted Bjarte’s excellent wheeze of donating to rights groups by way of reply to haters.
John Scalzi is the author of several books, including the Old Man’s War series and Redshirts, published in the States by Tor and the UK by Gollancz. He’s also the president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Fed up of being constantly targeted on his website by one particular individual and his followers, Scalzi decided to take action, pledging US$5 every time “the Racist Sexist Homophobic Dipshit in question posts an entry on his site in which he uses my name (or one of his adorable nicknames for me)”.
Scalzi put a ceiling on his “troll tip jar” of US$1,000, figuring that gave his bête noir 200 opportunities to abuse him over the coming year, and said he’d give the cash to four charities: RAINN, America’s largest anti-sexual violence organization; Emily’s List, dedicated to electing pro-choice Democratic women to office; the Human Rights Campaign, which works for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equal Rights; and NAACP: America’s oldest and largest civil rights organization.
That’s the ticket!
A novel enough way to tackle the trolls, for sure, but what happened next was somewhat astonishing: Scalzi’s friends, Twitter followers and readers asked if they could jump in with pledges too. Many of his friends are high-profile authors and industry types – Will Wheaton, the actor who played Wesley Crusher in TV’s Star Trek: The Next Generation, and a writer in his own right, was one of many who promised to match Scalzi’s US$1,000 pledge.
By the early hours of this morning, UK time, the pledges for Scalzi’s chosen charities had grown to US$50,000.
Very good. Just one thing though – let’s not be thinking of this as a great way to raise money for rights organizations. I don’t volunteer to be a target for the purpose. Sorry, but no.