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Online Service Allows You to Hire Someone to Attend a Protest in Your Place

Ever wish you could attend a protest, but couldn’t do so because of location, timing or other constraints? Well, thanks to Wistand, an online platform that allows people to hire proxies to protest on their behalf anytime, anywhere, you can get involved and support the causes you care about.

Before you get too excited about the idea of proxy protesters, you should know that Wistand is currently only available in France, a country that has seen weekly “yellow vests” protests for nearly six months now. But while the idea for this online service may have been inspired by the Yellow Vests anti-government protesters, it is not affiliated with the movement in any way, and can be used for any type of protests. All you have to do is go on the Wistand website, start a “cause” or find one that you care about, and then donate a set fee that will go toward funding a “messenger”, a person to attend that protest on your behalf.

Photo: StockSnap/Pixabay

After you’ve placed an order for a messenger, the Wistand team will put you in contact with a messenger, and your payment will only be debited after the messenger accepts the terms of their “mission”. Placing an order 48 hours before the scheduled protest will also allow you to pay for various accessories for the messenger, such as printed t-shirts, caps and banners to help them make more of an impact.

Thank to geolocation technology, you can make sure that the messenger attends the protest as agreed and even ask them to share photos and videos in real time, allowing you to follow the action as closely as possible.

Grégoire Laugier, the founder and CEO of Wistand, is convinced that his business fulfils a real need. With the advent of the internet, particularly social networks, political involvement has never been stronger, but most people are constrained to expressing their ideas in online comments. With Wistand, they can actually make an impact in the real world.

 

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“In a way, it’s the equivalent of proxy voting, applied to protesting” Laugier said. “It’s a bit like in the years 1990/2000, with the first dating sites. In the beginning, everyone was shocked, and today everyone is on one.”

Laugier describes Wistand as a democratic service. He understands that it could allow someone to manipulate large groups of people to support their interests, so he has decided to never mobilize more messengers during an event than there are contributors to it. Basically, every messenger has to represent a real person who paid for them to attend a demonstration.

While Wistand has received modest media coverage so far, its creators are confident that the service will take off in a big way, because it offers users several advantages. It makes it easier for people to get involved without having to worry about altering their schedule, traveling long distances and finding affordable accommodation near the location of the protest, and it guarantees anonymity, which is a very important thing nowadays.

 

Now word on if or when Wistand plans to expand outside of France, but it does mention “global causes” on its official website, so it’s safe to assume that its founder has at least thought about it.

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