Justin Rose of England and Brandt Snedeker of the USA take the ‘ice bucket challenge’ with a bit of help from their caddies Mark Fulcher and Scott Vale after a practice round prior to The Barclays at The Ridgewood Country Club on August 19, 2014 in Paramus, New Jersey. Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images
You’ve seen it on Facebook, and you’ve probably been invited to take the Ice Bucket Challenge.
You haven’t escaped watching a few celebrities and friends doing it.
The latest phenomenon in social media activism — sometimes called hashtag activism or slacktivism – is sweeping the nation, but it’s also got critics.
The challenge involves getting a bucket of ice water dumped on you. You film it, and post the video to social media. Then you nominate your friends to take the challenge.
The New York Times reports that as a result donations to The ALS Association have spiked. The association has received $13.3 million in donations since July 29, compared to $1.7 million at the same time last year.
The ALS Association tells the story of one man’s influence on the bucket challenge’s viral path:
Beverly, Mass., resident Pete Frates, along with his family, helped to make the “Ice Bucket Challenge” go viral on the social sites Facebook and Twitter. Frates, 29, has lived with ALS since 2012, and he has worked with The ALS Association’s Massachusetts Chapter. A former Division 1 college athlete with Boston College Baseball, Frates tirelessly spreads awareness of Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
But now some, including Will Oremus, a writer for Slate, aren’t buying the story. He says Matt Lauer and Martha Stewart were among several celebrities who took the challenge before Pete Frates got involved. New York Magazine dissects the phenomenon as classic social media marketing. Still, the Ice Bucket Challenge is going strong, despite the backlash from Oremus and others. The New York Times reports The ALS Association has about 260,000 new donors.