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05/09/2013

Unicef slams Facebook ‘slacktivism,’ saying Likes don't help people

UnicefadThe international humanitarian aid group Unicef is slamming people who ‘Like’ and retweet things on social media that aim to help people in need, because ultimately, clicking the Like button is a slacker’s way of getting involved, it seems.

To get the point across, Unicef started an ad campaign to show people that actions speak louder than Likes.

Slacktivism is what happens when someone does something, or starts something, but what they’ve done doesn’t really make a difference.

Unicef Sweden’s director of communications says that likes and social media is a good “first step” to getting involved, but people need to do more for things to actually happen.

“Likes don’t save children’s lives. We need money to buy vaccines for instance,” Petra Hallebrant told the Atlantic.

The ad campaign to get the message across is so brilliant, you would think it came from the office of Don Draper on Mad Men.

One of Unicef’s ads shows a man and woman out at a restaurant. When it comes time to pay the bill, the two say they’ll split the bill 50-50, but he’ll pay for his share in ‘Likes’ while she has to actually pay money.

Another video shows a little boy saying he’ll get sick, but he thinks everything will be alright because Unicef Sweden got 177,000 likes on Facebook.

At the end of the videos, they show a message that says vaccines can’t be bought with likes, so make a donation to the organization.

 

This is quite possibly the first major campaign against slacktivism – which runs rampant on Facebook and Twitter.

People took part in memorial runs for victims of the Boston Marathon Bombings – but who actually donated to the groups helping the victims return to living normal lives again?

And women on Facebook wrote cryptic status updates saying where they like it (to put their purse) for breast cancer awareness, but did they actually donate to research projects or groups helping patients?

Unicef thinks slacktivism is a problem on social networking sites like Facebook – do you agree? 

- Maurice Cacho, MSN Tech & Gadgets

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Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.

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