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IPFS News Link • Philanthropy

Why Mr. Beast's Humanitarian Efforts Actually Work--and Why His Critics Hate Him for It

• https://fee.org, Jon Miltimore

ames Stephen "Jimmy" Donaldson, better known by his professional moniker "Mr. Beast," has made a name for himself — and hundreds of millions of dollars for humanitarian causes — by leveraging his social media platform. 

He's cleaned up our oceans, planted 20 million trees, and fought hunger by feeding needy people in communities across the US. In his latest effort, Mr. Beast built 100 wells in Africa, bringing clean drinking water to an estimated 500,000 people in countries from Kenya to Cameroon to Zimbabwe.

Not everyone is happy with Mr. Beast's latest campaign, however, or his broader philanthropic efforts. 

One Kenyan politician told CNN Mr. Beast's well campaign fed the perception that African countries are "dependent on handouts," while the founder of a charity complained that "a white male figure with a huge platform…gets all of the attention."

While this might sound simply like sour grapes — and some of it likely is — the criticisms against Mr. Beast are much broader than many might suspect. For years, many have complained that Mr. Beast's "philanthro-tainment' strategy — combining philanthropy with online entertainment — is exploitative. 

For example, in February when Mr. Beast partnered with a non-profit organization to provide sight-restoring surgery — procedures Mr. Beast personally paid for — he was accused of "poverty porn." 

"…it is all in the service of enriching himself," one person tweeted.

"He cares about poor people and disabled people because they make him money," another one said. 

"Doctors/nurses don't exploit their patient's dignity for profit."


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