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Posts Tagged ‘PayPal’

PayPal Exec Is Out After A Couple Months On The Job, Goes on a Twitter Tirade Against His Colleagues

rakesh tweet1PayPal‘s new director of strategy, Rakesh Agrawal, is already out with only two months on the job. And on his way out the door, he took to Twitter Friday night to rail against his own colleagues.

The tweets started at about 1am with the announcement: “Done working for the weekend. Jazz fest time.” The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival wrapped this Sunday.

By the middle of the night, he was posting tweets with crazy misspellings and giving the finger to some unidentified someone. Unlike the post at right, some of those crazy tweets were directed at other Paypal staffers who he does name. This finger tweet and many of the others in this Business Insider post look to have been since deleted.

By Saturday evening, PayPal posted on its Twitter account that Agrawal was “no longer with the company” because they have a “zero tolerance” policy for the disrespect Agrawal showed his fellow staffers. Agrawal maintains, however, that he quit, calling the PayPal tweet “misleading” because it insinuates he was fired. In the screenshot that Agrawal posted of his resignation, you see a time stamp of 9:34pm on Friday, a few hours before his tweet rant began.

Fired or resigned, this is not a good look for Agrawal.

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Online Reputation Scrubbing Isn’t Getting Any Easier

I'm 1980's David Bowie, Brett...

Confession: we were recently Googling someone we knew in high school after one of those random “I wonder what he’s been doing for the past ten years?” moments. The answer to our question was “breaking the law all over the place”, and it came in the form of ten different images of our old acquaintance in various stages of arrest.

We felt bad for him and we still do, but this little discovery gave us our first look into the skeezy world of mugshot websites, a weird little niche business that just keeps growing like a defiant weed (according to The New York Times).

These sites look like producers of clickbait spam that comes in approximately three varieties: “faces of meth”, “sexy mugshots” and “celebrities at their drunkest”. Here’s how they make money: they charge the average citizens depicted in these mug shots to remove them. And the pay scale is “flexible.”

Grossed out yet?

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Chirpify Empowers Non-Profit Fans to Donate Directly via Facebook Comments

Earlier this week our sister site SocialTimes reported on a development that could be good news for SM-savvy non-profits: two services have joined to make donation as easy as clicking “reply” or posting a comment.

Transaction startup Chirpify launched in February 2012 but made headlines with a new round of funding last month. As TechCrunch notes, its selling point is not entirely new: several competitors already allow consumers to buy things by replying to tweets (after allowing PayPal or another similar service to connect to their Twitter accounts, of course). The model works for everything from downloads and digital subscriptions to clothes and concert tickets.

This week, however, Chirpify revealed plans to expand its existing presence in the non-profit space by partnering with Greater Giving, a PayPal equivalent dealing exclusively with charity organizations.

The deal: one of Greater Giving’s non-profit partners (which include DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital, Metropolitan Performing Arts Academy, Stiletto Stampede, and The Shade Project) posts a message on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. After they’ve enabled Chirpify, fans who want to donate can simply reply or comment with “donate” or another designated keyword. Here’s an early adopter you might recognize:

And here’s a slightly different client:

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UNICEF’s Facebook App Turns Social Network into Water Network

Move over, Farmville. Virtual farming is out, and virtual plumbing (for a good cause) is on its way in.

As part of its annual Tap Project, UNICEF has partnered with Droga5 to create an app that turns your Facebook page into a virtual water tap. The project’s goal is to help raise awareness of the staggering number of people around the world who lack access to safe drinking water (roughly 800 million), while simultaneously raising money to help get clean water to those people.

According to UNICEF, just $5 dollars can give one child safe drinking water for 200 days. By donating those $5 dollars to the cause via PayPal or text message, Facebook users can now turn their pages into virtual taps carrying water to those in need (money-raising) and then choose two friends to whom they can link “pipes”, urging them create taps of their own (spreading awareness). Through this dual-action campaign, UNICEF hopes to “turn the world’s largest social network into the world’s largest water network.”

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Tesla Fights Back Against Its Own PR Fail

Tesla Model S Sedan via WiredPaypal co-founder/insanely rich guy Elon Musk isn’t afraid to defend his far-out ideas, be they successfully marketing an electric automobile or convincing rich people to move to his future colony on Mars.

But can he fight back against what CNBC calls “Tesla’s PR #EpicFail“? His auto company’s latest electric car, the Model S, won Motor Trend‘s car of the year award among a wave of very positive reviews, but The New York Times auto critic John M. Broder‘s test drive didn’t go so well.

Despite being a “technical wonder”, the car ran out of juice in cold weather when its battery died and the writer, having no access to one of the company’s remote “Supercharger” stations, had to call a towing company. The Tesla brand’s stock took a hit, inspiring Musk to lash out on Twitter. The funniest part of this four-wheel drama? Not only did Musk pitch the story to the Times in the first place, he apparently called the critic to apologize for the experience and offer him a second test drive before calling him a liar in public.

This is a strange damage control strategy, no?

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Billionaire Invites You to Live on Mars for $500K

Total Recall Are you rich, bored and worried about the future? A new and exciting life on Mars could be yours for the low one-time fee of half a million dollars!

South African entrepreneur Elon Musk is many things: eccentric character, co-founder of PayPal and Telsa Motors, billionaire many times over. He’s also very, very concerned about the future of the human race, and he wants to let you know about his unconventional solution to our approaching overpopulation/natural resources crisis: move to Mars and join a settlement free from the nefarious influence of God and government!

That’s right—in one of the year’s most bizarre PR stunts, Musk recently announced his super-cool plans to build a permanent colony of approximately 80,000 obscenely wealthy individuals on the Red Planet through another one of his companies, a venture called SpaceX that he created to “revolutionize space transportation, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets.”

What, you don’t think he’s serious?

While Musk does “in fact know that this sounds crazy”, he told Bloomberg “I want to die on Mars”. Certainly doesn’t seem like he’s kidding.

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Paypal Apologizes for Shutting Down Campaign for Needy Kids

Earlier today, Herman Cain taught us a lesson about using words carefully. Now Paypal is teaching us to use our rules carefully., a site that pokes fun at ridiculous things they find on Etsy, decided to be nice and try to raise money to buy Christmas gifts for needy kids. We don’t fully understand what happened — it looks like they broke a rule about using something reserved for nonprofits — but Paypal tried to shut down the effort.

Rule number one for avoiding bad press and being a good citizen of the world: Do not interfere negatively with any effort to help needy children.

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Cyberattacks In Support of WikiLeaks Pose PR Dilemma

An activist hacker group called Anonymous is taking responsibility for an orchestrated cyberattack against Mastercard and says that it’s planning other attacks in order to “wreak revenge on any organization that lined up against WikiLeaks,” according to the NY Times.

The story says that Anonymous doesn’t have a leader, and one of the activists stated in a telephone interview that 1,500 hackers were lined up to attack various companies and individuals. On the list of those that have been hit are, PayPal, and PostFinance, the financial side of the Swiss postal system.

This situation poses a big strategic question for PR pros working with companies that have come in contact with controversy.

(Updates after the jump.)

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