There is a BBM spam message going around that suggests 35 cents will be donated to help Haiti when you forward the message to others. The message reads:
“Because of what has transpired in Haiti recently, Blackberry (sic) has decided to help out and give 35 cents for the cause when you pass this message along to your friends on BBM”
While most readers are familiar with BBM, and have probably disregarded the message, there are still some new users who are genuinely confused. Since BBM messages are totally free, passing the message on won’t incur a fee, it’s just misleading.
While passing a BBM message won’t result in a donation, RIM is donating money as well as BlackBerrys to help in the relief effort.
It’s most likely the BBM message is getting broadcasted from user to user, and not the result of someone hacking the system. What’s probably most interesting about this, is that it shows just how viral BBM can be. It seems that BBM has the ability to spread a message between a very large group of peers, just like a series of ReTweets in Twitter.
If you would like to donate, consider a major charitable organization with experience in the field. Here is a list of organizations you can SMS money to:
- Text HAITI to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross
- Text HAITI to 25383 to donate $5 to International Rescue Committee
- Text HAITI to 45678 to donate $5 to the Salvation Army in Canada
- Text YELE to 501501 to donation $5 to Yele
- Text RELIEF to 30644 to get automatically connected to Catholic Relief Services and donate money with your credit card
- Text HAITI to 864833 to donate $5 to The United Way
- Text CERF to 90999 to donate $5 to The United Nations Foundation
- Text DISASTER to 90999 to donate $10 to Compassion International