UNICEF reminds the Internet that Facebook Likes don't save lives

By on May 3, 2013, 12:30 PM

All too often we see causes spread on social networks claiming that, for each Like received, some sort of a charitable contribution will be made. But today UNICEF Sweden launched a campaign reminding people that Facebook Likes do not equate to money, and people really looking to help out a cause should do so with actual monetary contributions. The poster below sums the goal of the campaign nicely.

To go along with the campaign UNICEF released three commercials, aired in Swedish, each taking a different approach to deliver the message. The first -- and probably the one with the most impact -- features a young orphan boy talking about how he is worried that he might get sick, like his mom got sick. He then goes on to say that UNICEF has 177,000 Facebook Likes, so he thinks everything will be alright.

The other two commercials are not as serious. Both of them feature the same person trying to pay for goods -- lunch in one of them, and a cashmere sweater in the other -- with Facebook Likes. Obviously that doesn't work out too well. Each of the ads closes with the message "Vaccine[s] can't be bought with likes either."

There is nothing wrong with awareness campaigns on Facebook, as it introduces people to major world issues they may not have known existed. However, UNICEF, along with advertising agency Forsman & Bodenfors, are simply reminding people that in order to make a real difference, donations are needed.

"We like likes, and social media could be a good first step to get involved, but it cannot stop there," said UNICEF Sweden Director of Communications Petra Hallebrant in an interview with The Atlantic. "Likes don't save children's lives. We need money to buy vaccines for instance."

Now that UNICEF has come forward to remind everyone that Facebook Likes will not actually change the world, it will be interesting to see whether other charitable organizations will come forward with similar statements.

User Comments: 8

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4 people like this | MilwaukeeMike said:

I wonder if they've seen a decrease in donations recently that led to this reminder campaign. I would bet they've instead just seen an drastic increase in 'likes' (therefore, awareness), but haven't had an increase in donations.

Making a donation causes people to feel good about contributing to a cause. And I'm sure people get that same satisfaction from 'liking' it on FB. Plus, when you like it on FB you can share that and show all your friends what a caring person you are. It's exact opposite of the lesson from Sunday school, which was to help the less fortunate and not mention it, let alone brag about it. Now people are bragging about helping, but aren't actually doing anything to help. Our narcissistic society has reached a new low.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

This is true. It is very easy to click "Like." It is much harder to actually make a donation, or give time, or actually dedicate your life to eradicating poverty.

Guest said:

Clicking "Like" is analogous to wearing a ribbon in support of a cause. It does nothing except make the wearer feel good about himself or herself.

lipe123 said:

Clicking "Like" is analogous to wearing a ribbon in support of a cause. It does nothing except make the wearer feel good about himself or herself.

That ribbon would have cost you 1$ or something and that money would have gone toward that cause.

Clicking "like" is more along the lines of saying "thats nice.." and going on with their lives not giving a damn.

Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

Well the above comments are true, but in addition paying for goods via SMS messages in Sweden became impossible, it was said because it was to prevent money laundering but the real answer probably was that the phone companies could not live up to the same scrutiny that banks must have when offering money transactions...

This made a huge dent in donations though, because SMS donations had become very popular in Sweden and was a great way to get donations quickly when a sudden disaster had occurred...

1 person liked this | TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

UNICEF has some balls attacking anyone. UNICEF''S official admin rate is 5% but critics put it more at around 45%. By the time your charity dollar filters through the UN and their cronies the actual amount reaching children are pennies on the dollar. I use to go out and collect for them as a child, now they disgust me.

1 person liked this | Timonius Timonius said:

Now it seems to be kind of awkward to 'like' a comment on this article


tonylukac said:

So as we all knew, plugs and even specialness are useless. Wonder why people pay to advertise then.

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