Counterpoint: Weak Ties Aren't Enough

In counterpoint to my post earlier this week on slacktivism, take a look at this campaign by UNICEF covered in The Verge (and brought to my attention by my colleague Mary Warner).

The powerful and motivating campaign is right: Facebook 'likes' don't in themselves do anything. According to Petra Hallebrant, UNICEF Sweden's director of communications

Likes don't save children's lives. We need money to buy vaccines for instance.

It is the responsibility of a social campaign organizer to move 'likes', Twitter support or Instagram images from expression to action. This campaign does it by taking slacktivism on directly, and it works. 

But — to continue the point-counterpoint rhythm — remember as long time social change activist Dr. Larry Brilliant wrote recently in the Stanford Social Innovation Review:

Social change is participatory. That's what makes it social. It has always required intellectual and moral catalysts. But lasting change happens by engaging and affecting large numbers of people. Today, scale comes from connectivity . . . (and) Connectivity drives change.

Gagnon — Right and Wrong

What Weak Ties?