Elsewhere online
August 13, 2014

Viral 'Ice Bucket Challenge' Raising Millions in ALS Fight

A rapidly spreading social-media campaign urging people to dump a bucket of ice water on themselves has caused a huge spike in contributions to charities battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the Associated Press and The Boston Globe report.

The "ice bucket challenge" asks people to either douse themselves or make a donation to fight the incurable neural condition, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, and to nominate friends to the do the same. The campaign originated months ago but has exploded in recent weeks, with dripping-wet photos of athletes, celebrities, and others proliferating online.

The ALS Association said its national office has received $2.3-million in donations in the past two weeks, compared with $25,000 during the same period last year. Including gifts to local chapters, the charity has taken in $4-million in that time, nearly quadruple last year's total.

A Washington Post blogger says the campaign's fundraising success should override any backlash about the sudden ubiquity of the challenge or concerns that such viral activism is typically short-lived.

"Hey haters, this might annoy the heck out of you every time you log in to Facebook or Vine … but it’s producing actual results for organizations battling a crippling neurodegenerative disease," writes Caitlin Dewey, who runs The Intersect, the Post's blog on Internet culture.