He’s a viral GIF. So he’s using it to fundraise for charity

Sep 24, 2021, 4:08 AM | Updated: 4:16 pm

This GIF provided by Giant Bomb shows Drew Scanlon from a 2013 live-streaming event produced by the gaming site Giant Bomb. Scanlon's expression during a moment in the live stream became known across the internet to express disbelief or confusion. Scanlon is using the resulting GIF's fame for good, by soliciting donations for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to aid with research and advocacy for the disease. (Giant Bomb via AP)

(Giant Bomb via AP)

If you’ve been on social media, or texted with GIF-loving friends, you know Drew Scanlon’s face.

His GIF, known as ” Blinking Guy ” or “Blinking White Guy,” is estimated to have been used more than 1.7 billion times across the internet to express disbelief or confusion. It even has its own Twitter page.

Scanlon hasn’t been wasting that internet fame. He’s using it for good — by soliciting donations for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to aid with research and advocacy for the disease.

Last week, he appealed to his Twitter followers to pitch in: “If this GIF has ever brought you joy in the past, I humbly ask you to consider making a donation to the National MS Society,” he wrote on Twitter.

Many chipped in, helping Scanlon raise more than $75,000 and break his 2019 record of nearly $34,000, the first time he used the meme to fundraise. Overall, he’s raised more than $154,000 for the organization since 2016.

Scanlon, 35, who works as a producer at the California-based video game developer Digital Eclipse, says two of his friends, as well as members of their families, are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, also known as MS.

“If a fraction of those who have seen my goofy face donated to MS research, I have a feeling we could kick this thing in no time!,” Scanlon wrote on his fundraising appeal.

That “goofy face” was a result of a moment in 2013, when he and his co-workers at the gaming site Giant Bomb were live-streaming themselves playing video games. One of his co-workers made an “off-color” joke, and Scanlon reacted with what has now become his famous expression. A user on that site turned it into a GIF, he said, but it gained so much notoriety four years later that even celebrities started using it.

“It’s kind of fun to see that, but it’s also a little bit overwhelming,” he said. “At a certain point, you realize that it’s completely out of your control and that you don’t have any say in how it is used and by whom. And, you know, it’s your face — that’s pretty closely tied to your identity.”

____

The Associated Press receives support from the Lilly Endowment for coverage of philanthropy and nonprofits. The AP is solely responsible for all content. For all of AP’s philanthropy coverage, visit https://apnews.com/hub/philanthropy.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - This Wednesday, March 31, 2021 file photo shows empty vials of Johnson & Johnson's one-dose ...
Associated Press

COVID vaccine: CDC expands booster rollout, OKs mixing shots

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions more Americans can get a COVID-19 booster and choose a different company’s vaccine for that next shot, federal health officials said Thursday. Certain people who received Pfizer vaccinations months ago already are eligible for a booster and now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says specific Moderna and Johnson & […]
20 hours ago
A man lies still as devotees light oil lamps over his body as part of rituals to celebrate the tent...
Associated Press

AP Week in Pictures: Asia

Oct. 8-14, 2021 This photo gallery highlights some of the most compelling images made or published by Associated Press photographers in Asia and Pacific. The gallery was curated by AP photo editor Masayo Yoshida in Tokyo. Follow AP visual journalism: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/apnews AP Images on Twitter: http://twitter.com/AP_Images AP Images blog: http://apimagesblog.com Copyright © The Associated […]
20 hours ago
The Statement of Facts to support the complaint and arrest warrant for Christian Manley is photogra...
Associated Press

Alabama native charged in Jan. 6 insurrection denied release

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Alabama native whom a judge alleged was “leading the charge” during the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was denied release Thursday in an Alaska courtroom while his case proceeds. Christian Matthew Manley then waived his right to preliminary hearing and asked that he be immediately transferred to the […]
20 hours ago
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces in Wellington, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021, an ambiti...
Associated Press

New Zealand sets 90% vaccination target to end lockdowns

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand’s government on Friday set an ambitious target of fully vaccinating 90% of all eligible people to end coronavirus lockdowns. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had been under pressure to provide a pathway to freedom for people living in Auckland, who have been in lockdown for more than two months. […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

California proposes buffer between oil drilling, homes

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration on Thursday announced a proposal to ban new oil and gas wells within 3,200 feet (975 meters) of sites such as schools and homes. Here’s a look at the details: THE BUFFER The 3,200-foot zone between new drilling and community sites would be the largest in […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Police: 4 killed in Washington state shooting

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Four people were killed in a shooting in Tacoma on Thursday afternoon, police said. The Tacoma Police Department said on Twitter at about 5:30 p.m. that two females and one male had died at the scene and that a male was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. At about 6:30 […]
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
...
Comcast

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
He’s a viral GIF. So he’s using it to fundraise for charity