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Cyber begging

Cyber begging

(also internet begging)

Cyber begging definition

Cyber begging is asking for financial help on the internet. It’s a digital form of panhandling — people use websites and social media to ask for donations from a wide audience. This can range from help with emergencies, medical bills, or educational needs to funding for startups or creative projects.

See also: donationware

History of cyber begging

  • Late 1990s – early 2000s. Cyber begging began with the growing accessibility of the internet. One of the earliest known cyber begging websites was in 2002. Karyn Bosnak, an American television producer, used the site to pay off much of her credit card debt by asking for donations from visitors.
  • Mid 2000s. The concept evolved to crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and GoFundMe. They provided a more structured and socially acceptable way to ask for money online.
  • Today. Over time, cyber begging started covering funding for a wide array of needs. It is now a common way of raising funds for medical bills or disaster relief, to pay for college, and even to support personal goals like traveling.

How cyber begging works

  1. Setting up a campaign. People in need create a campaign on a crowdfunding platform. This involves creating a profile, explaining the campaign’s purpose, and setting a financial goal.
  2. Sharing the story. The key to a successful cyber begging campaign often lies in how well the organizer shares the story behind the request. This often involves personal details, photographs, or videos.
  3. Social media and networking. Campaigns are usually shared through social media and other online networks to reach a broader audience. The goal is to engage and motivate a large number of people to contribute small amounts.
  4. Receiving donations. People donate through the platform, which takes care of the transaction process. The funds then go to the campaign organizer, usually minus a fee taken by the website.
  5. Transparency and accountability. Many platforms allow campaign organizers to update donors about how the money is being used.
  6. Variations. Sometimes, people just ask for help on a blog, social media, or their own website instead of using a major platform.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security