It is likely that videos of people dumping buckets of ice water on their heads has filled up your Facebook and other social media newsfeeds in the past few months. And not just anyone. Participants include Bill Gates, LeBron James, and Taylor Swift.
So what’s it all about? In short, people are “nominated” to complete the ice bucket challenge, post it to their social media sites, and then challenge others to do the same within 24 hours or make a $100 donation to the ALS Association. Many who accept the challenge both carry it out and make a donation. The purpose is to raise money for and awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Since July 29, donations to the ALS Association have reached $13.3 million as compared to only $1.7 million in the same period last year. That includes about 260,000 new donors.
But the trend is also receiving a lot of backlash. Arielle Pardes, a writer for Vice, complained: “There are a lot of things wrong with the Ice Bucket Challenge, but the most annoying is that it’s basically narcissism masked as altruism.” Pardes calls this type of stunt “hashtag activism” in the vein of Livestrong bracelets and Kony 2012. Many are encouraging people just to donate instead of taking the challenge.
Have you taken the challenge? Post a link to your challenge video in our comments section below.