Bear faced

NO MAKE UP: Auto-correct helpfully donates £3 to ‘Save the Polar Bears’ instead of Cancer research

adopt a polar bear auto correct mistake cancer research fundraiser donations mistake no make up selfie polar bear selfie save the polar bears

Over £18,000 from the #NoMakeUpSelfie campaign for Cancer Research has accidentally gone towards adopting polar bears.



So far, social media well-wishers have raised £8 million to fund scientists in their efforts to find a cure for cancer, the equivalent of ten clinical trials.  However, even though the WWF and Cancer Research are polar opposites, many #NoMakeUpSelfie takers found themselves accidentally sending money to the wrong charity or even requesting to adopt a polar bear.

The confusion is supposedly a result of several factors.

Firstly, people texting ‘DONATE’ rather than ‘BEAT’ and coincidentally using an SMS keyword and shortcode combination attributed to UNICEF.

Secondly, everyone’s favourite social media plague: auto-correct.  On several devices, the word ‘BEAT’ was auto-corrected to ‘BEAR’, resulting in several accidental adopters taking to twitter to joke about the mix-up.

But despite the obvious inconvenience of adopting a large white fluffy bear, the confusion has inspired some people.

When asked about for her view on the mix-up Holly Smith, a fourth year at Murray Edwards College admitted that she was now wondering what would have happened if she’d texted ‘BEARD’ instead.  ‘Or even better, ‘BEANS’’ she added.

Third year English student, Sarah-Jane Ewart, took a more logical approach to the error.

“Women without makeup (or men with make up) are about as relevant to our cuddly arctic friends as they are to cancer research.

“There’s something fitting about the logic of autocorrect here, though for many it’s hard to bear.”

Despite the confusion, Kerry Blackstock, Director of Fundraising for the WWF,  has said that all money sent to them as a result of the #NoMakeUpSelfie campaign is being transferred to Cancer Research.

“When we realised there was a lot of interest in a campaign we weren’t presently running we made sure our automatic text message response let the sender know their text had gone awry.”

Thankfully, people aren’t too upset about the mistake.  According to Chris Bennet, a third year engineer at Christs, “it doesn’t seem like there’s been any harm done as long as Cancer Research get the money back”.

The incident is believed to be an ice-olated case but all parties involved are working together to make sure that the same mistake doesn’t happen again.