In our current cultural climate, it’s not just mandatory to take a side but also to clutch that side while also divorcing one’s self of empathy and understanding for those with differing viewpoints. A precious few are able to navigate that precarious space in between. For a while, at least, one of these was WeRateDogs.
WeRateDogs is a Twitter account that posts photos of adorable “puppers” with straightforward captions and nonsensical ratings that more often than not surpass the 10-point scoring scale. It is sweet, doofy, and run by a college sophomore named Matt Nelson who wants nothing more than to bring cuteness into your lives.
This is what we’re talking about:
Naturally, the internet has found a way to be mad at WeRateDogs.
On Tuesday night, we all heard and promptly absorbed President Trump’s resounding “covfefe.” WeRateDogs did, too, and decided to capitalize on the ”typo” with some branded hats.
Realizing it probably wasn’t the best way to line one’s pockets, Nelson announced he’d be donating half of the profits to Planned Parenthood.
And the floodgates opened, for stuff that mostly looked like this:
Nelson, not wanting to court this kind of outrage, released a statement on the situation.
Regarding the events of last night.. pic.twitter.com/dGkqOJA3SK
— WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) May 31, 2017
Here’s the full text:
Last night, Trump made a hilarious typo. Thankfully I was on twitter when it happened and immediately included “covfefe” in an emergency dog rate. We then put the word on a hat and added it to our store. Many of you thought it was the best thing ever, but a few comments that stuck with me referenced how it’s not the most honest way to make a few bucks. In the heat of the moment, I added that we would be donating half of all profits to Planned Parenthood, an organization with values opposite our current administration. I thought it was perfect. Immediate feedback was positive and encouraged more people to buy the hat.
This morning I woke up to a ridiculous amount of backlash for my decision. I let my personal beliefs infiltrate an account that’s not meant to share them. This isn’t really a good excuse after two years of running the account, but I am still learning. And today I learned that rushing decisions involving your money and a very sensitive subject is irresponsible. So, since we already said we would, and many of you bought it because we said we would, we will still be donating that money to PP. But I saw some comments suggesting we donate to dog shelters, which is obviously much more on brand for us. So, I will match whatever we end up donating to PP, and donate it to a local shelter.
If my actions offended you, I’m sincerely sorry. Alienating a portion of my audience is stupid and unnecessary. Different opinions are good and conversations about those opinions are valuable. Dogs are bipartisan and that’s why my following is diverse and my account brings people together. Last night I jeopardized that, and I’m sorry. I’ll do my best to put the train back on the tracks to the wholesome, pure, escape from reality account you all have come to love.
Basically, the takeaway here is that, to appease his contingent of followers, Nelson decided to still donate to Planned Parenthood but would also match those with donations to a local shelter.
Instead of being happy that now both Planned Parenthood and a dog shelter would be receiving hefty donations, a portion of the pro-choice crowd thought it more valuable to criticize a Twitter account called WeRateDogs for not ignoring a huge swath of its followers.
Are you exhausted yet? If you read WeRateDogs’ replies over the last 24 hours it’s clear Nelson is. The moral of the story, of course: Don’t go on the internet.