Posts

sustainable farming practices
Nubia Cardenas and her two sons, Jeimer and Arley, live in the countryside of Chipaqué, Colombia, a municipality close to Bogotá, the country’s capital. They have recently become YouTube stars with their channel “Nubia e hijos,” or “Nubia and children.” Many farmers in Colombia grow large fields of onions, potatoes and aromatic herbs for the residents of metropolitan areas. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, food supplies are more difficult to access and food prices are steadily increasing. This makes it more difficult for low-income communities and farmers to get the resources they need to survive. In this context, Cardenas’s YouTube channel, which focuses on sustainable farming practices, is crucial for farmers in Colombia.

Peasant Farming in Colombia

Recent corruption within the Colombian government is putting an even bigger strain on peasant communities throughout Columbia. The former minister of agriculture, Andrés Felipe Arias, created the Agro Ingreso Seguro program to assist poor farmers in the economic downturn. While the program was supposed to be a low-interest line of credit from the government to impoverished farmers, it only benefited wealthy farmers, giving them subsidies greater than 26,000 pesos.

The Agro Ingreso Seguro program might have resulted in a $300 billion diversion of funds, but it enabled the top 1% of the largest farms in Columbia to dominate 81% of the country’s farms, while millions of poor farmers live on tiny plots of land. Although Arias received a 17-year prison sentence over this scandal, his actions greatly impacted impoverished Colombian communities’ access to resources and opportunities they desperately need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Columbia’s economic state and the current state of the world were two major reasons for the creation of the “Nubia e hijos” YouTube channel. The purpose of the channel is to share tips for sustainable farming practices, like how to grow fruits, vegetables and herbs. In doing so, the Cardenas family hopes to ensure that no one will have to go to bed hungry in Colombia.

5 Interesting Facts About the “Nubia e hijos” Channel

  1. The First Video: The family posted its first video without electricity and with little technical knowledge. Neither Cardenas nor her two sons had any knowledge about technology or social media before deciding to create a channel. The family did not even have a laptop to edit the video, but they were still dedicated to sharing their knowledge and helping others. Once the videos went viral, the trio reached out to their neighbor and friend, Sigifredo Moreno, and the social enterprise Huertos de la Sabana to collaborate on the channel’s audiovisual production.
  2. Planting Kits: Along with sharing their extensive cultivation knowledge, the family uses its YouTube platform to sell homemade planting kits to low-income farmers and families. For $5, subscribers can purchase kits that include soil, bags and seeds for planting. For $7, subscribers can purchase kits that include soil, seeds and three potted plants. The Cardenas family hopes that by providing viewers with both the knowledge and resources to enact sustainable farming practices, more individuals will have a constant, affordable and sustainable food supply.
  3. Beyond Food: The Cardenas family uses its platform to discuss other social issues in Columbia besides sustainable farming practices. In the family’s third video, Cardenas, her sister and her two sons discuss the difficulties of living in the countryside and taking virtual classes. Many impoverished families who live in the countryside of Columbia do not have access to the resources necessary to complete virtual classes, such as laptops and the internet. Therefore, the Cardenas family uses its channel to advocate for better tools and instructions for peasant children during COVID-19.
  4. Going Viral: “Nubia e hijos” now has 424,000 subscribers. In 11 days, Cardenas and her two sons posted four videos, which caused the YouTube channel to go viral. Their tips and instructions on how to plant food at home have become very popular and a large audience from all over the world is now viewing the Cardenas family’s videos. The family also has over 170,000 followers on Instagram due to its newfound fame.
  5. Improved Lifestyle: The Cardenas family was able to purchase a laptop due to support from their fans, both subscribers and buyers of their kits. In a recent video, Cardenas’s sons smiled as they show off their new laptop to the camera. The family can now use the laptop to produce more videos to help others like them through sustainable farming practices.

The coronavirus pandemic has limited interaction and communication to strictly online forms. However, the Cardenas family was dedicated to sharing their potentially life-saving knowledge with others. Through the “Nubia e hijos” YouTube channel, the Cardenas family has established an innovative way to improve their own economic situation and help fight hunger and poverty in many parts of the world through sustainable farming practices.

– Ashley Bond
Photo: Flickr

BubzBeauty Helps Build Schools
Pencils of Promise is a nonprofit organization that emerged in 2008. Since then, it has built 512 schools in Ghana, Guatemala and Laos, and has helped 102,215 children obtain a quality education in those countries. Not only does the organization raise money for schools, but it also has programs to help support teachers working at and students attending these schools. Through Pencils of Promise, YouTuber BubzBeauty helps build schools in its three countries of interest.

BubzBeauty’s Involvement with Pencils of Promise

On August 8, 2015, Lindy “Bubz” Tsang announced her first campaign with Pencils of Promise to raise $50,000 to build two schools in Laos. She felt compelled to use her YouTube platform and large following to help children in poverty obtain an education and better their lives. For this first fundraiser, Bubz designed a sweatshirt for her subscribers to purchase; 100 percent of all proceeds went toward the school fund.

It was a huge success, and on January 18, 2016, Bubz released a vlog of her visit to one of the two schools, named Beauty of Knowledge. The name was a tribute to her beauty channel on YouTube, since it and its subscribers were what made the building of the school possible. As Bubz says in her vlog, “beauty doesn’t have to be just about makeup and skincare. Beauty is also knowledge.”

Building Schools in Laos and Ghana

Before the building of the new schools, the kids in Tad Thong, Laos went to school in a temporary classroom structure made from bamboo with a makeshift roof. There was no way for it to support all the children coming to attend, so the school held six grades in only three classrooms. In Saen Oudom, Laos, children also attended school in extremely poor conditions, with the building having a leaky roof and many safety hazards. Thanks to Bubz, both towns have a safe space for the kids’ education to continue and thrive. Tad Thong now has a five-classroom school and Saen Oudom a three-classroom school.

Since then, Bubz has raised money to build a total of five schools, ultimately impacting a total of 3,469 children around the world. Bubz and her beauty community have helped construct two schools in Laos and three in Ghana. The Ghana fundraiser gained monetary aid from another shirt design with all profits going toward the campaign. Additionally, Bubz created an eye shadow palette where $2 from each one sold went toward the fund. Here is a list of the three areas Bubz has helped:

  • Atravenu, Ghana: Four grades were sharing two classrooms in a chapel. This proved to be a distracting environment for both teachers and students, hindering the education process.

  • Kpando Torkor, Ghana: The school building had unfinished classrooms. The first and second graders were in the most unsafe rooms and the 91 students attending caused overcrowding, a safety hazard.

  • Mafi Agorve, Ghana: Children were attending school in makeshift structures that did not include windows or doors. This exposed them to harsh sunlight throughout the day and outdoor distractions.

With Bubz’s help, all three towns were able to build a three-unit class structure, and Kpando Torkor was also able to renovate its already existing classrooms.

Plans for the Future

In the description of her most recent update video on the schools (May 10, 2019), Bubz wrote, “When we build schools, we’re not just building a physical structure, we also build up a child’s confidence, dreams and goals. We build up communities’ potential and standard of life.” Bubz’s campaigns through BubzBeauty not only helps build schools but also helps the communities surrounding those schools flourish more than they would have without her help. Education leads to a better life for these children and brighter futures for the countries.

Even present day, BubzBeauty helps build schools with Pencils of Promise. In May 2019, she announced that profits from her formulated lipstick would go toward a fund to raise money to build a school in Guatemala.

“Not all superheroes wear capes. Some wear lipstick.” — Lindy Tsang

– Jordan Miller
Photo: Flickr

Google’s Contribution to Fighting Extreme PovertyGoogle is one of the most renowned tech companies in the world with an exquisite smartphone line, a widely-used search engine and the ownership of media-giant, YouTube. Despite the success of Google, it started from humble beginnings. Two Ph.D. students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, founded Google, originally named Backrub, at Stanford University for a research project in 1998. From an initial investment of $100,000, Google turned into a multi-billion dollar company, focusing part of its fortune on its own philanthropic goals. Google’s contribution to fighting extreme poverty includes dedicating $50 million to the global education initiative and $50 million to the economic opportunity initiative. Google.org announced a $1 billion commitment in grants and one million employee volunteer hours to close the global education gap, create economic opportunities and diminish prejudice and discrimination.

Google and GiveDirectly

In 2012, Google granted $2.4 million to GiveDirectly. GiveDirectly is a nonprofit organization that transfers money to people in Kenya using “electronic monitoring and payment technology.” Recipients can receive money via personal cell phones or the cell phones GiveDirectly gives them.

GiveDirectly hopes for economic stimulation by increasing cash flow to impoverished individuals to create more expenditure on services and products. For example, NPR covered a GiveDirectly success story about a Kenyan man who used the money he received to buy a used motorcycle. With his motorcycle, he charges riders a fee similar to taxi services like Lyft or Uber as a source of income. This organization allows donors to fund individual living expenses instead of general predetermined expenses, giving recipients the freedom to purchase the specific items they need to financially benefit their family.

As of 2016, 36.1 percent of Kenya’s population lives on less than $1.90 per day. This statistic dropped from 46.8 percent in 2006 but Kenya is still far from eradicating poverty altogether. Google’s contribution to fighting extreme poverty allowed GiveDirectly to recreate its program in Uganda and East Africa, as well as research its economic, social and psychological impacts.

Google and StoryWeaver

A year later in 2013, Google funded $3.85 million to an India-based organization, StoryWeaver, as part of the $50 million initiative to close the global education gap. StoryWeaver is a free online educational resource targeting underprivileged areas. It is also a platform for authors, illustrators and translators to create stories for children. StoryWeaver makes books more available to children all over the world in their native languages at varying reading levels. The ability to read and write sets the foundation for further education and countries in poverty have a significantly lower literacy rate due to inadequate educational materials or resources.

Literacy rates in India logged in at 74.04 percent in 2011 compared to the average world literacy rate of 86.3 percent. As a result, StoryWeaver works to provide free reading material to communities in need. StoryWeaver has already garnered over two million reads and 13,000 stories in 175 languages. With Google’s help, StoryWeaver will be able to expand its platform and user base while increasing the production of stories.

Google emphasizes the importance of accessible educational materials and worldwide economic participation by supporting innovative national and global nonprofits. With its powerful influence, resources and platform, Google is in a strong position to establish positive changes and produce substantial outcomes. Google’s contribution to fighting extreme poverty began almost 14 years ago and its efforts continue to remain steadfast today.

– Angela Dong
Photo: Flickr

Activism on YouTube
Most of the millennial generation might remember the splash that “Kony 2012” made on the Internet, a video about Joseph Kony forcing child soldiers to fight his wars for him in Uganda. Regardless of the resulting conduct of the filmmaker, the film was a digital phenomenon, shared from every social media platform known at the time. There’s no mistaking the amount of awareness that the video generated. Kony 2012 was one of the first and most viral examples of activism on YouTube.

While bingeing on Netflix or finding the latest funny videos on YouTube can waste the day away, platforms such as YouTube also provide a unique space for creativity, art and passion that can easily be tied to activism and global issues. Whether it is a specific person or an organization, a YouTube channel can be the means to a movement. Below are some channels to get started with bineging on activism on YouTube:

  • Jacksgap: While this channel isn’t currently active, all of Jack and Finn Harries’ previous videos remain online, detailing their work and travel to support different charities and issues. Their videos showcase a blend of art and activism that is very well done. Jack Harries is currently traveling in Somalia to study the effects of climate change on the impoverished country.
  • The Uncultured Project: Now a charity, this is a channel run by Shawn Ahmed, designed to raise awareness about global poverty, initially while traveling around Bangladesh. He focuses his videos on a problem as well as a solution. Ahmed sends pictures to donors so they can see the direct impact of their donations.
  • Vlogbrothers: Brothers Hank and John Green, the latter being a famous young adult author, achieved their YouTube success with the idea of Nerdfighteria, which fights the stigma of “the nerd.” However, they also created the Project for Awesome, a way for their subscribers to advocate for charities by making their own videos.
  • Engage by Uplift: This channel advocates against sexual violence in all of its different forms. It seeks to educate and raise awareness for the various aspects of the issue and calls its viewers to action in every video. In terms of activism on YouTube, this channel is upfront and consistent.
  • Tyler Oakley: Oakley focuses on LGBTQ activism by working with The Trevor Project, a nonprofit focused on suicide prevention. Besides its activism on YouTube, his channel includes plenty of fun and light videos as well as collaborations with other users to keep viewers entertained.

While this is certainly not a comprehensive list, this list provides a basic starting point for seeing what activism on YouTube has to offer. Social media is a major part of life in modern society, and these channels have used it to make a change.

Ellie Ray

Photo: Flickr

YouTubers
YouTube has allowed millions of people to create content that will possibly reach an audience. For some YouTubers, creating content leads to an enormous amount of success, creating a massive following and giving them celebrity status. As a result, the past 10 years have seen a great increase in the number of online celebrities.

What these celebrities reveal is the power in social media. If top YouTuber PewDiePie, who posts comedy skits along with “Let’s Play” videos of games such as Grand Theft Auto V and The Witcher III, can have over 38 million subscribers to his channel, is YouTube not also a platform on which one can spread ideas to others?

PewDiePie thinks so. In 2013, the vlogger posted a video titled “10 MILLION BROS UNITE!-Charity: Water” on YouTube. In it, he challenged his subscribers (who at the time numbered 10 million) to support the efforts of nonprofit organization Charity: Water to promote access to clean water in the developing world. Along with launching an online campaign, PewDiePie agreed to donate one dollar to Charity: Water per every 500 views earned by the video. PewDiePie’s studio “Maker Studios” also agreed to donate one dollar per every 500 views on the video.

The campaign raised $446,462 for Charity: Water, becoming a huge success for the YouTuber. Perhaps even more great is the fact that PewDiePie is not the first YouTuber to promote making a difference.

For Lewis Brindley and Simon Lane, who form comedic gaming channel Yogscast, charity is part of what being entertainers is about. In December of each year, the team holds fundraising initiatives, streaming play-throughs of games and challenges to promote charity. Their most recent effort, titled “Jingle Jam,” raised over 1 million dollars for a variety of charities, including Oxfam International, Doctors Without Borders and End Polio Now.

Along with PewDiePie and Yogscast, YouTuber Connor Franta has taken advantage of the platform to promote social justice. Franta raised over $230,000 for The Thirst Project through crowdfunding platform Prizeo. To do this, Franta encouraged fans to enter a contest in which they donated to the charity, and the winner was given the opportunity to get coffee with Franta in Los Angeles.

The power of social media is the speed with which it allows us to spread ideas. For YouTube celebrities, using the platform that allowed them to achieve celebrity status to promote giving is perhaps the ultimate way to give back.

Andrew Michaels

Sources: PC Games N, Reason Digital, Huffington Post , Youtube 1, Youtube, Charity: Water
Photo: Youtube

Youtubers
YouTube has become one of the largest, most influential mediums in the world. According to the website, YouTube has more than one billion users in 75 countries, watching hundreds of millions of hours each day.

More than one million channels receive proceeds from their videos due to the YouTube Partner Program, and a small amount of these channel owners make six figures per year.

Elite YouTubers Zoella, Jack and Finn Harries, and Hank and John Green are a part of the select group who achieved super-stardom from their videos.

However, these YouTubers have more than just a high-paying salary in common. They all participate in numerous charities to give back to those who are struggling.

Zoe Sugg

With about eight and a half million viewers subscribed to her fashion and beauty blog, Zoe Sugg, also know as Zoella, donates some of her time to raising awareness for fatal diseases. Sugg starred in “The Comic Relief Bake Off” in February that funded vaccinations for babies in Uganda. Sugg has also worked with Trekstock, which gives support to young adults with cancer.

“Doing what I do, I get to meet a lot of young people that have been through the stresses and the traumas that go with [cancer],” Sugg said.

Along with this, Sugg is the first digital ambassador for Mind, a mental health charity and has participated in fundraising for the Stroke Association and Band Aid 30.

Jack and Finn Harries

Identical twins Jack and Finn Harries run the YouTube channel JacksGap that has more than 180 million views. The channel’s videos feature the brothers traveling the world, occasionally stopping to film a video for charity. In March of 2013, the twins posted a video about their time in South Africa visiting some Comic Relief projects. More than five million people live with HIV in Africa, according to the video.

“We were shocked to hear how serious the issue had become, but excited to see what was being done to help and meet the people behind the project,” Jack Harries said.

Jack and Finn Harries have helped raised awareness for this issue, because their video now has over two million views.

The twins have also helped The Rainbow Centre, Teenage Cancer Trust and Charity: Water.

Hank and John Green

Another set of philanthropic YouTube siblings with the channel name VlogBrothers hold an online presence of about two and a half million subscribers, and they use this power to promote their charity projects. Hank and John Green created Project for Awesome in 2007.

“During Project for Awesome, thousands of people post videos about and advocating for charities that decrease the overall level of world suck. As a community, we promote these videos and raise money for the charities,” Hank and John Green said.

The charity has taken place for seven years, and last year, the project raised over one million dollars.

Aside from this success, the brothers have also taken part in Partners in Health.
For more information about these YouTubers, visit youtube.com/zoella, youtube.com/jacksgap, and youtube.com/vlogbrothers.

– Fallon Lineberger

 

Sources: BBC, Boohoo, Charity Water, Mind, Prizeo 1, Prizeo 2, Project for Awesome, YouTube 1, YouTube 2, YouTube 3, YouTube 4, YouTube 5, YouTube 6, YouTube 7
Photo: Telegraph

 

give8_bit_charity
It seems the video game industry has grown at a breakneck pace. A billion dollar industry that has enabled seven billion hours a week of global game time, video games and gaming are quickly being recognized as an important platform and vehicle for charitable giving.

Playmob, the London and San Francisco based charitable gaming platform, released its new YouTube channel, Give8-bit (https://www.youtube.com/user/Give8Bit) this past December. The idea behind Give8-bit is to provide a platform that allows gaming studios and gamers alike to showcase their projects and hopefully get some much needed support.

As their release video proclaims, gamers are among the kindest (when not rage quitting) and most generous people on earth. Individuals have been setting up speed runs (where the gamer attempts to beat a title in a certain amount of time) and marathon runs (where they play a title for an excruciatingly long period of time without break) for charitable projects on their own for several years now. These runs are very well received by the community and often quickly achieve their target goals.

But gaming runs are just the tip of the iceberg for the ‘charitisation’ of games. Production companies are now promoting games which are actually designed to translate in-game actions into real world charitable donations. Game studios are making games tailored to educate gamers about the harsh realities of global poverty, homelessness, anxiety and depression to name but a few.

And now with Playmob releasing Give8-bit, all of these different aspects of gaming for charity have a global platform where they can have their voices heard.

Playmob also has a number of projects which are not directly related to the Give8-bit YouTube channel which could really use some attention.  These projects partner games (of any kind) with charitable organization to help drive the sales of the game, a portion of which is translated directly into donations to the charity.

It would seem the gaming community has a strong interest in ending cyber bullying and saving pandas—both very worthy and important causes to be certain. However, their projects which focus on issues surrounding global poverty seem to be stifled and taking a back seat.

For example, the cyber bulling campaign has received $95,000 of the $100,000 needed, while the security and safe drinking water for African children projects are both sitting at right around 10 percent of the needed funds (about $7,000). One can start getting involved by checking out some of the projects here (https://playmob.com/#projects-featured).

Pedram Afshar

Sources: Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Wired, Gameranx, YouTube, Playmob, Develop
Photo: Thunderclap

kevjumba
It started with a few funny homemade videos posted onto YouTube by a teenager in high school. However, overnight, YouTuber Kevin Wu’s videos shot up half a million views. From then, Wu, known by his YouTube name Kevjumba, would become one of YouTube’s leading cyber-celebrities. His comedy videos gathered millions of views. Today, 4 million people are subscribed to Kevjumba’s channel. His subscribers are roughly equal to the population of New Zealand.

Despite enormous success and fame, Wu has been using his influence for helping those in need, namely by helping to build a school in Kenya. Wu’s involvement in school’s construction began when a The Supply, a non-profit organization, posted a video of students in Nairobi challenging Kevjumba to teach one of their classes. Wu then received a flood of tweets urging him to go to Kenya. Soon enough, this American YouTube star was on his way to Africa.

According to Wu, his trip to Nairobi was life-changing because he learned from The Supply about the 1 billion people living in slums today and witnessed children living in the slums around Nairobi. Wu decided that he would partner with The Supply and commit to aiding the friends he made in Kenya. Wu had already created a charity YouTube channel called Jumbafund where views were generating ad revenue that Wu would donate to charities. Wu decided that he would direct all the funds from his charity channel to The Supply to help fund education for students in Kenya.

After uploading videos about his experience in Nairobi, which generated over 2 million views, Wu was able begin a project to raise funds for The Supply to build a school in Lenana, Kenya. When Wu turned 21, he and partners launched a campaign to urge people to donate 21 dollars to the construction of the school. With $50,000 raised, funding for the school’s construction is now complete. Kevjumba High School is the first secondary school in Lenana, Kenya. It now serves many of the students that Wu met while visiting Kenya.

Kevjumba has revolutionized  charity by using YouTube as a platform to truly aid those who need it. This is because Kevjumba’s viewers play a key part in generating the funds to build the school. Each click and each view plays a part in sustaining the school and providing opportunities for children in poverty to have an education. Furthermore, Kevjumba’s popular videos encourage viewers to donate directly. Kevjumba proves that with just a viral video and a compelling cause, anybody can make a difference in the world.

– Grace Zhao

Sources: The Huffington Post, Forbes, Kevjumba.com, PR Newser
Photo: KevJumba

charlie
Charlie McDonnell has embraced the publicity of being a “YouTube sensation” despite the negative connotation that can come with that title. The British musician debuted his YouTube talent in 2009 with a video, Duet With Myself.  The clip has been viewed close to 8.5 million times and his YouTube  site has gained over 2 million subscribers.  By his own admission, McDonnell does not claim his videos are brilliant, but he is making money and using his online presence to make an impact.

McDonnell was chosen by nonprofit group Save the Children to promote the fight against hunger with an official title as “YouTube Ambassador.” With that he does what he does best, making YouTube videos that reach a large audience. His current task is playing a key role in the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign which is backed by Save the Children among other charities. The IF campaign calls on leaders of the world’s rich countries to continue to fight global hunger.

In 2005, wealthy nations pledged to spend 0.7% of their incomes on aid, but few have followed through with their promise. Britain has made it to 0.55% while the US is only at 0.2%.  The IF campaign is calling on these countries to increase foreign aid and reduce corporate land takeovers in developing nations. A rally in Hyde Park is scheduled ahead of the G8 meeting later in June and McDonnell will take part in a live web chat with Bill Gates, who will be there talking about the work the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is doing.

Earlier in 2013, McDonnell and his mother traveled to Tanzania with Save the Children to see firsthand the impact of global poverty.  McDonnell said that it was his first time to really see the impact of hunger. While in Tanzania, McDonnell met 16-year-old Frank Kapeta, a Save the Children Youth Ambassador who as a young boy ate as little as one meal a day.  The two traveled to Frank’s village where his grandmother showed McDonnell how to make ugali, a staple food in the village. It is ground flour and water and has little to no nutritional value.

McDonnell and his mother have been leading the #IFYouTube campaign focused at calling the online community to action concerning hunger. For McDonnell, this issue is very important and must be tackled. His experience in Tanzania humbled him and led him to use his online presence to fight hunger and encourage others to do likewise. His is an example of a “YouTube Sensation” gone right.

– Amanda Kloeppel
Source: Metro

A Bacteria Makes Mosquitoes Resistant to Malaria
More than two years ago, social media helped Egyptian activists organize massive street protests that lead to the end of President Hosni Mubarak’s reign. With billions of people logging onto Facebook, Twitter and Youtube everyday, it is no wonder that social media has become a celebrated and useful fixture in the voice of the people. However, as quickly as revolutions are sparked, third-party antagonists and governments are sure to falsify what is posted on these sites in an attempt to silence people of opposition. In Egypt, sites that seemed beneficial at the start of the revolution have transformed into venues used to spark violence, hate and oppression revealing the dark side of social media used in social revolutions.

During the Tahrir Square uprising in early 2011, networking websites, like Twitter and Facebook, allowed anti-regime activists to organize mass rallies while providing platforms to articulate political demands. Today, those sites allow a rampant slew of messages focused on provoking anger, hatred and in some cases unsubstantiated rumor. Since the revolution, provocative photos or videos appeared on social media venues which, after eliciting angry reactions, were later proved entirely false or highly exaggerated.

The anonymity of the cyber world is partly to blame for the abuse of social media worldwide and begs the question of validity regarding how effective social media is when used in a full blown revolution. A prominent Egyptian political analyst, Ammar Ali Hassan, notes that one of the main downsides of online social media is the ability of anonymous parties to create fake websites or social media accounts and to issue statements on behalf of political figures or groups that are in fact false. Another explanation of the unbridled use of social media comes from Adel Abdel-Saddiq, social media expert at the Cairo-based Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies. Abdel-Saddiq believes that a significant problem is the lack of legal oversight of social media platforms in Egypt, where “laws against libel and slander only apply to traditional media – i.e., television, radio and newspapers – but not to the Internet.”

– Kira Maixner

Source: INTER PRESS SOURCE
Photo: Policy Mic

Pages

youtube-logo

Objective:

Create one YouTube video of people asking one of your congressional leaders to support a poverty-reduction bill. The video should address only one congressional leader. Your leader already knows they are receiving phone calls from their call reports – The purpose of these videos is to explain WHY the leader should support the bill or International Affairs Budget. Be creative and make sure people aren’t just reading off of a script or calling and leaving their leaders a message! Ask yourself, if you were the leader or staffer viewing your video, would you be engaged? If the answer is no, create a new version before publishing it online.

Why this matters:

Congressional offices monitor when the leader is mentioned online. These videos will be seen by the leaders’ Communications Directors and often the leader as well.

Maximize your impact:

1. Come up with a creative idea. Pick a bill or ask your leader to support the International Affairs Budget. Draft out what you’ll want people to say in the video. Be sure to include WHY your leader should support the bill or International Affairs Budget.

2. Include other people to be in your video – friends, family, neighbors, other students, etc. You want to show strength in numbers.

3. Film footage and edit the video. The shorter the better (think 1-3 minutes).

4. Create a YouTube account if you don’t have one and upload the video.

5. IMPORTANT: Optimize the name and description. Congressional offices receive summaries of where the leader is mentioned online, so it’s key that the video’s title and description name the leader and the bill. For example, name the video “Sen. Tywin Lannister Please Cosponsor the Education for All Act.” In the video description, mention the leader’s name, the bill and that you’re constituents who support The Borgen Project.

6. Use your social media platform! There’s a good chance your leader’s Communications Director will see the video within 24 hours of you publishing it, but just to make sure the message is received, email the video to their office. You can also post the video to the leader’s Facebook page and tweet your message to the leader!

What the title and verbiage should say:

The title and description need to mention the leader’s name and the bill. The script of the video should also mention the leader’s name and ask them to cosponsor a bill.

  • Example of a Good Title: “Sen. Tywin Lannister Please Cosponsor the REACH Act.”
  • Example of a Good Description: “Sen. Tywin Lannister, we truly believe that you have the ability to make a difference in thousands of lives by cosponsoring the REACH Act. As your constituents and supporters of The Borgen Project, we believe that the values of the district are best represented when we’re improving the lives of those born into extreme poverty.”

This is how it’s done!

Why this video is a huge success…

Here’s another good video example, focusing on the International Affairs Budget: