Thursday, January 15, 2009

Causes on Facebook

I came across this report in a newspaper:

One recent controversy is that over Sammy the Shark, a young whale shark that was caught in the Arabian Gulf and then transferred to the aquarium at the Atlantis Hotel [in Dubai], which opened [in November 2008] with a 20mil pound party and firework display.

More than 16,000 people joined a Facebook group calling for its release…

- A Waste of Energy, The Star, December 30, 2008

More than 16,000 people joined a Facebook group calling for the release of the shark? So what?

There are many “causes” on Facebook. Some examples are “Stop Global Warming” and “Save the Ocean”. I personally have got a few invitations to support the causes. It was easy to sign up. All I did was just a few clicks. I did not need to fill up a form or make donation. In fact, I didn’t even bother to read the details. Do I have any follow-up actions? You bet!

Back to Sammy the Shark. I doubt the Facebook group made any impact. The Facebook members who signed up did not boycott Atlantis Hotel. (I doubt many of them can afford it anyway.) Nor did they travel to Dubai to stage protest. Why should the hotel management fear them?

Facebook is a hugely popular social networking site, but you just have to know its limitations.

P/S This writer is aware of the global warming issue, but joining the Facebook cause makes no difference to him.

Facebook Stop Global Warming

More than 2 million members, but raised only $29,984. What a joke!


  1. Only apporximately 30K. A relatively low number! =/

  2. yeah actually it makes no difference at all, after all, it is just by clicking the JOIN button. and, how many will donate?

  3. well, at least they try....:P

  4. tekkaus
    Actually, I am not even sure if I can trust the figure.

  5. xin
    I wouldn't be surprised if the people who join continue to do things that harm the environment.

    Huh? They try? What have they tried?

  6. Boycott Facebook! I honestly can't figure its popularity out.

  7. 宝茹
    I'm afraid boycott is futile. It is too popular.

    If you can't beat them, join them...

  8. ah yes, FB has many of this group doing something like this :)

    in fact they have WWF also :)

  9. lisa
    I just check the WWF group in FB. But I wonder how one can save the polar bears by simply joining, as claimed...

  10. It's one thing to join the group, it's another to be actively involved and I don't mean just by clicking this or that cause on Facebook afterall lip-service or mouse-clicking is free.

    Also, the medium (Facebook) is not to be blamed. It's people who should take the action.

    Poor shark, he may be caged in but the hotel could be taking all measures to ensure its safety so it may not be a bad thing.

    KS, I like what you said, "I wouldn't be surprised if the people who join continue to do things that harm the environment." Absolutely! Either consciously or unconsciously.

  11. happysurfer
    Yeah, medium is not to be blamed. But it is not as influential as many think.

  12. Facebook Stop Global Warming

    More than 2 million members, but raised only $29,984. What a joke!

    I'd be really interested in knowing what they do with the (alleged) money. I mean, where do you donate to stop global warming?

    These things are nothing but moral masturbation. They give uncritical people another opportunity to waste time while imagining that they have contributed to an excuse for their existence. Ask most of them to actually do something substantive, like going out and helping clean up a beach, picking up litter on a roadside, or picketing a coal-fired plant, and you'd get, "Oh, Gee! I'd love to, but I'm writing my global warming blog that day."

  13. I never sign up for any of the causes. Btw, I don't even join Facebook! : )

  14. digital-dharma
    Thanks for dropping by.
    Seriously I do not know what is done with the money raised. But there are FB members who actually feel proud for joining the groups :D

    I am sure you have received chain mails which read something like this:
    "For every e-mail you forward, Bill Gates will donate $1 to ..."

  15. Noooo! I'm not joining Facebook anytime soon.

  16. WFF polar bear,

    I remember once they sent msg to everyone to donate to one WWF account to save an animal, i can't remember... it was last year

    but i think that work :D
    the more member the more ppl will donate after getting the msg :)

    *btw, thick face is good hahaha*

  17. 宝茹
    OK then you join MySpace ;)

    OK that will do. But how many of the FB WWF group members actually contributed?

  18. a cause is anything worth fighting for 0 agst any form of ignorance on any platform. what more on popular sites like FB? Even raising awareness is a step towards reaching the goal. Be positive ya?