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WATCH ON DEMAND FROM 25 Jan 2021
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Autocorrect blunder sees #nomakeupselfie participants accidentally adopt polar bears

A charity mix-up brought on by smartphone owners over-zealous autocorrect has seen people who had intended to donate money to Cancer Research UK accidentally adopt a polar bear instead.

The confusion arose when participants of the #nomakeupselfie campaign which has generated more than £2m for cancer charities since it went viral.

Some selfie-takers have fallen foul of the text-message donation system however as after typing the word ‘BEAT’ to make their donation some phones changed this to read ‘BEAR’, diverting their cash to the WWF instead.

Unsuspecting donaters were then presented with the following unexpected reply: “Thank you for choosing an adorable polar bear," the reply from the WWF said. "We will call you today to set up your adoption."

A WWF spokesperson said: “Any texts sent to us instead of Cancer Research [UK] would not result in any donations going to help protect polar bears as WWF relies on human operators calling people back to confirm adoptions, so no money would have changed hands," said Kerry Blackstock, WWF's director of fundraising.

"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.

"We wish Cancer Research UK every success in their campaign and their goals, polar bear selfies are harder to come by, though, as far as we are aware, none wear make-up."

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