While troll fighting apps and sites are not new, this week a couple of independent ad agencies created a site that lets anyone donate to a collection of progressive organizations in the name of any internet troll at all. Raleigh, NC-based ad agency Baldwin& and New York-based agency Hunter S. & Thompson, with developer and designer Seth Callaway, have launched Troll Tax. Just paste the URL of any troll tweet into the site, pick from a list of nonprofits to donate to in that troll’s name, then tweet a confirmation back at the troll, announcing publicly that their online rhetoric has prompted a donation. The link will also show the troll’s Twitter handle, amount of money raised, and any tweets they’ve made that have elicited donations from others. You can also install a Chrome Extension to initiate a donation with a single click of a “troll” button.
Donations are handled by Stripe, in conjunction with the Social Good Fund and PandaPay.
Baldwin& founder David Baldwin says the goal was to take the negative energy of trolling and turn it into something good. “With the current climate of hatefulness engulfing all of us, we wanted to see if we could convert it into something positive,” he says. “So we thought, what if we let people take a bully’s tweet and jujitsu it into a donation to the very thing they’re railing against. Then how do you make it easy and engaging?”
To determine what nonprofits to support, the organizers grouped trolls into a few different categories–anti-choice, anti-women, anti-personal orientation, etc.–then looked for the charities helping make a difference in those areas.