Charity auction lets you buy celeb Twitter friends


SAN FRANCISCO: If you have ever wished celebrities like actress Demi Moore or skateboarder Tony Hawk would follow you on short-messaging site Twitter, now’s your chance — but you’ll have to cough up some cash for the privilege.

eBay Inc is hosting a charity auction called TwitChange, through which people can bid to have celebrities follow them, retweet their posts or tweet their username on Twitter for three months.

Money raised from the auction, which ends on Saturday, will go to aHomeInHaiti.org and its efforts to rebuild the Miriam Centre, which is based in Haiti and houses and serves special-needs children.

Atlanta-based pastor Shaun King founded aHomeInHaiti after the massive earthquake in Haiti in January. He also came up with the idea for the celebrity Twitter auction as a fundraiser. More than 180 celebrities are involved in the auction, ranging from Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine to actor Zachary Levi.

As of late Monday, Dana White, president of mixed-martial arts group Ultimate Fighting Championship, was in the lead with US$15,600 (RM50,000) after 86 bids. Levi, who plays a computer nerd implanted with spy secrets on NBC show Chuck, was behind him with US$14,900 (RM48,000) raised after 135 bids.

Both auctions offer to follow the winner on Twitter for at least 90 days, repost one of the winner’s own Twitter postings and broadcast the winner’s Twitter username to the celebrity’s list of Twitter followers.

There were also plenty of celebrity Twitter opportunities below US$100 (RM320): A listing for comedian, talkshow host and actor George Lopez to retweet a message from the winner was going for US$38 (RM122) after 19 bids. A listing for rapper Snoop Dogg to do the same rose to US$67.55 (RM216) after seven bids.

King said the auction had collected US$200,000 (RM640,000) in bids so far, and he’s cautiously optimistic that his group will raise even more. — AP

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ebay.com/twitchange

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