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This article focuses on the role of circulated affect in crowdfunded funeral campaigns, which have attracted little scholarly attention so far. This study is based on content analysis of online campaigns (N = 50) and qualitative interviews (N = 10) with campaign supporters and initiators. Its aim is to connect crowdfunded funeral campaigns to the larger digital-sharing economy. The findings of the study suggest that in order to gather sufficient funds to cover funeral costs, individuals share emotionally evocative narratives and images with their social networks and an imagined Internet audience with the expectation of attracting compassion. The study shows that political movements, media coverage, and sharing on social media platforms are integral to the success of campaigns for socially marginal individuals. The article contributes to the growing study of crowdwork and finds persistent structural inequalities in crowdfunding campaigns, thereby contesting the ethos of the digital commons.


Originally published in Social Media + Society, by SAGE Publications.



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