Activism On The Internet
Posted by Nipun Mehta on Feb 19, 2008
- Click to Save Darfur: The Genocide Intervention Network has launched an Internet-calling application that can identify phone numbers for local politicians and then dial them for the member, providing scripted talking points for the conversation. It also allows members to sign up for e-mail alerts with links to articles the organization wants to boost in the "most read" rankings on news sites.
- Help Just a Click Away: Two men, whose wives endured serious illness, run a social networking site, LotsaHelpingHands.com, to help mobilize family, friends, and communities to support loved ones battling illnesses. Nearly 10,000 support communities have been formed on the site, offering to provide help with everything from meals to transportation to the doctor's office.
- When Facebook opened up its social network to third-party software developers, Project Agape founders Sean Parker and Joseph Green saw an opportunity to tap into the site's vast membership to support good causes. Parker and Green developed an application called Causes, which nonprofits customize for Facebook users to place on their personal pages to raise awareness and money.
- Zipcar founder Robin Chase launched social network GoLoco on Earth Day 2007 to do just that. Members can form carpools and post driving trips on specific commutes. GoLoco enables drivers to collect gas money, tolls, and other driving expenses from those who hitch a ride, taking a 10% transaction fee to support the site.
- Organizers used Facebook to help mobilize what became a huge protest in Colombia against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a militant group with a history of kidnapping, torturing, and murdering political dissidents. The protest was planned after more than 250,000 Facebook members signed up for a group on the social network opposing FARC. Estimates vary widely, but between 500,000 and 2 million people took to Colombia's streets on Feb. 4.
- The Habitat for Humanity page on MySpace has more than 5,000 members who post photos of the projects they have built and offer advice about volunteering in local projects.