90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Stunt Philanthropy In The Age Of Social Media

The Ice Bucket Challenge: ALS, viral fundraising and how we give in the age of social media.

In this image from video posted on Facebook, courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, former President George W. Bush participates in the ice bucket challenge with the help of his wife, Laura Bush, in Kennebunkport, Maine. (AP)

In this image from video posted on Facebook, courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, former President George W. Bush participates in the ice bucket challenge with the help of his wife, Laura Bush, in Kennebunkport, Maine. (AP)

The Ice Bucket Challenge has just ruled this summer.  Be doused with an icy torrent, or give money for ALS – “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”  It was born in late July.  Exploded on social media.  Swept up big names and celebrities from George W. Bush to LeBron James to Lindsey Lohan to Jeff Bezos.  And swarms of regular folks.  The ALS Association would normally raise a couple million dollars this time of year.  This month, with the challenge – more than $50 million.  It’s astonishing.  Or is it “slacktivism?” This hour On Point:  the Ice Bucket Challenge, and giving in the age of social media.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Nancy Frates, mother of Pete Frates, an ALS patient in Massachusetts.

Stacy Palmer, editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy. (@stacypalmer)

Lucie Bruijn, chief scientist at the ALS Association.

Michael Hiltzik, columnist at the Los Angeles Times. (@hiltzikm)

John McDermott, staff reporter at Digiday. (@mcdermott)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Atlantic: Why Did the Ice Bucket Challenge Go Big? Boston — “New data from the Facebook data science team heavily supports one theory: that the ice bucket challenger originated with Peter Frates, a former captain of the Boston College baseball team. Frates is 29 years old, and he was diagnosed with ALS in 2012. After Frates posted his ice bucket challenge video on July 31, the challenge took off. ”

Los Angeles Times: A few (impolite) questions about the ice bucket challenge — “Stunt philanthropy like the ice bucket challenge doesn’t accommodate these sorts of distinctions and comparisons–it just feeds whatever charity hits on a catchy device and treats all causes as essentially equivalent, distinguished only by their claim on public attention. The result is that ‘the most successful charities will be those that are best at soliciting funds, not those that are best at making the world a better place,’ as the British philanthropic organizer William MacAskill puts it.”

Digiday: Why Facebook is for ice buckets, Twitter is for Ferguson – “Having a frank discussion about the militarization of the police and America’s painful racial history indeed seems incongruous next to baby photos and engagement announcements. But Facebook’s inability to foster such topical conversations undercuts its recent efforts — introducing trending topics, placing more value on ‘high-quality content’ — to become a veritable news provider.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 19, 2014
No campaigners celebrate as results come in at the Scottish independence referendum count at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh,Scotland,Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Scottish voters have rejected independence and decided that Scotland will remain part of the United Kingdom. The result announced early Friday was the one favored by Britain's political leaders, who had campaigned hard in recent weeks to convince Scottish voters to stay. It dashed many Scots' hopes of breaking free and building their own nation. (AP Photo/David Cheskin)

ISIS and arming Syrian fighters. Scotland rejects independence. NFL turmoil. US troops and Ebola. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Sep 19, 2014
Joseph O'Neill (courtesy of the author)

Author of “Netherland,” novelist Joseph O’Neill is back, with “The Dog,” on globalization, capitalism, and self-discovery in Dubai.

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 19, 2014
Joseph O'Neill (courtesy of the author)

Author of “Netherland,” novelist Joseph O’Neill is back, with “The Dog,” on globalization, capitalism, and self-discovery in Dubai.

 
Sep 19, 2014
No campaigners celebrate as results come in at the Scottish independence referendum count at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh,Scotland,Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Scottish voters have rejected independence and decided that Scotland will remain part of the United Kingdom. The result announced early Friday was the one favored by Britain's political leaders, who had campaigned hard in recent weeks to convince Scottish voters to stay. It dashed many Scots' hopes of breaking free and building their own nation. (AP Photo/David Cheskin)

ISIS and arming Syrian fighters. Scotland rejects independence. NFL turmoil. US troops and Ebola. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: September 19, 2014
Friday, Sep 19, 2014

Lots of big, contentious topics on the show this week — from Zionism to early education, corporal punishment to development in the Grand Canyon.

More »
Comment
 
Talking Through The Issue Of Corporal Punishment For Kids
Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014

On Point dove into the debate over corporal punishment on Wednesday — as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson faces charges in Texas after he allegedly hit his four-year-old son with a switch.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: September 12, 2014
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

In which you had varied reactions to the prospect of a robotic spouse.

More »
Comment