Charity auction lets you buy celeb Twitter friends

Sep 21, 2010 By RACHEL METZ , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- If you've ever wished celebrities like actress Demi Moore or skateboarder Tony Hawk would follow you on short-messaging site Twitter, now's your chance - but you'll have to cough up some cash for the privilege.

EBay Inc. is hosting a charity called TwitChange, through which people can bid to have celebrities follow them, retweet their posts or tweet their username on for three months.

Money raised from the auction, which started last week and runs through Saturday, will go to aHomeInHaiti.org and its efforts to rebuild the Miriam Center, which is based in Haiti and houses and serves special-needs children.

Atlanta-based pastor Shaun King founded aHomeInHaiti after the massive earthquake in Haiti in January. He also came up with the idea for the celebrity Twitter auction as a fundraiser.

More than 180 celebrities are involved in the auction, ranging from Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine to actor Zachary Levi. As of late Monday, Dana White, president of mixed-martial arts group Ultimate Fighting Championship, was in the lead with $15,6000 after 86 bids. Levi, who plays a computer nerd implanted with spy secrets on NBC show "Chuck," was behind him with $14,900 raised after 135 bids.

Both auctions offer to follow the winner on Twitter for at least 90 days, repost one of the winner's own Twitter postings and broadcast the winner's Twitter username to the celebrity's list of Twitter followers.

There were also plenty of celebrity Twitter opportunities below $100: A listing for comedian, talk-show host and actor George Lopez to retweet a message from the winner was going for $38 after 19 bids. A listing for rapper Snoop Dogg to do the same rose to $67.55 after 7 bids.

King said the auction had collected $200,000 in bids so far, and he's cautiously optimistic that his group will raise even more.

Explore further: IBM dips into Twitter stream for business insights

More information: Online: http://ebay.com/twitchange

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