01 May 2013

Reporting on UNICEF Sweden's Anti-Slacktivism Campaign

“Liking” a world without poverty and injustice, on Facebook, is thought to be an act of good will.

Proponents see such acts on social media as a way to build an audience, show support of a movement and reach more people through engagement. Opponents of such simple clicks of a mouse call it slacktivism – a superficial fix that makes people feel like they are doing something when in most cases it makes no difference.

So some experts decided to research social media activism and find out what people really thought. A survey conducted with YouGov, a crowd-sourced polling service, found that many people feel acting via social media is sufficient. One in five respondents said that a ‘like’ on Facebook is a good way of supporting an organization.

The survey found that one in seven people think that liking an organization on Facebook is as good as donating money.

UNICEF Sweden, for one, decided it needed to push back on this with a little humor.

“We like likes, and social media could be a good first step to get involved, but it cannot stop there,” explained UNICEF Sweden Director of Communications Petra Hallebrant. “Likes don’t save children’s lives. We need money to buy vaccines for instance.”

In response, UNICEF Sweden launched a somewhat humorous (for Scandinavians, this counts as humorous) campaign to raise money for polio vaccines. It asked people to stop liking things and instead give money. Here’s the video spot for this campaign.

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