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January 12, 2008


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Again the mob apparently doesn't think the GiveWell board is capable of running their own house. It is pretty disappointing all the way around.

Josh Millard

It was an odd loose end; someone noticed the Talia comment on the 31st, some eyebrows hitched up, but then...nothing. With Holden revealing (or at least confirming) pretty much everything folks found, and with the you'd-have-to-be-nuts timing, I was figuring it was an actual fan, or at least not him.

And, well, at least it wasn't him. Elie hadn't got the memo yet, I guess.

The mob, in the case of the Givewell blog entry Phil linked, is two people, both of whom have been civil but consistently critical of Givewell's handling of the whole thing all through this ordeal -- it's not shocking that they're still feeling that way.

And it emphasizes why this whole thing is so frustrating. I can't think of, off the top of my head, more than two unprompted, pro-Givewell December-dated blog comments I've seen (outside of these discussions) that haven't been attributed to H&E -- one here (no comment on this one from Givewell, on their blog, when asked) and another on Freakonomics that seems unimpeachable because (and how backwards is it that I'd need to frame it this way) the poster doesn't cut into the other charity orgs he mentions prior to Givewell.

That used to be three, not two. Talia was an actual supporter, I had presumed.

I'm not panting over this stuff, but I have been watching it carefully and wondering. It bugs the hell out of me that we're in a position where I'm regarding the principals of an organization like this with the same professional distrust that I regard hardcore spammers on Mefi.


Josh, I can't mount any defense for the above, nor am I inclined to try. The story will stand as an example of what not to do in online philanthropy.

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