Hobo with a X

In last year’s SXSW conference a certain advertisement company hired 13 homeless persons. They were each given some electronic devices and a certain job. With 20$ upfront and guaranteed a total of at least 50$ with a chance to make even more money in the form of tips, they provided a free service but donation was encouraged through a PayPal service. The service provided by these people was thought to lighten the load from the existing infrastructure provided for the conference as well as donating money to charity and encouraging people to interact with homeless persons.

However this got a lot of backlash as people thought it was exploiting the homeless. The event organizers also distanced themselves from this scheme. Many people looked at it as the internet era equivalent of people wearing signboards in front of shops.

What service was provided by these people?

(People from NITK will realize how this situation is somehow the opposite of what is faced by them on a daily basis for certain amenities that should have been much more easily accessible)

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