People can be really horrible with social media — we know from prime examples like the recent viral video of Anthony Torres shaving on a commuter train, and some of the comments it attracted.
“My life is all screwed up. That’s the reason I was shaving on the train,” Torres, 56, told the Associated Press, adding that he didn’t know he was being filmed. “I never thought it would go viral, people making fun of me.”
Torres said he’d spent a few days in a homeless shelter, and was on a New York train heading into New Jersey to reach his brother, who was helping him get out of the bad situation, he told the AP. He told the news outlet that he didn’t have time to shower and clean up before he left the shelter, but he wanted to look “presentable.”
“I don’t want to say that I’m homeless, let everybody know,” he said. “That’s why I was shaving.”
The original video has been deleted, but not before over 2.5 million people viewed it on Twitter and Facebook, some replying with mocks. The poster tweeted, “Welcome to NJ TRANSIT!!!” and followed up with a tweet soliciting deals to sell it to media outlets.
“I've been commuting for almost 20 years on this line, and it's right up there with the strangest things I've seen for sure,” the poster, Pete Bentivenga told NJ.com.
It’s unclear if Betivenga got any money from the video, but it seems Torres will be getting some as a result of the incident. A GoFundMe was started for Torres and had raised $7,520 as of Tuesday morning. The founder of the fundraiser, Jordan Uhl, wrote that he was attempting to raise at least $15,000 to help Torres “get back on his feet.”
“I have reached Anthony's family and am working with his brother and him to facilitate the transfer via GoFundMe, through GFM's validation,” Uhl wrote on the fundraising post.
Torres’ brother, Thomas Torres, 57, who gave his brother the money for the train trip, told the AP he had a pretty rough life. Anthony Torres grew up poor in Hammonton, New Jersey, and has worked as a casino security guard and in construction. He’s had two strokes in the past two years.
“When he did what he did, that to him was normal,” Thomas Torres said of his brother shaving on the train. “He’s not that kind of person that does it because of spite or because he wants the attention.”