Your Facebook Likes Won't Save Lives Says Powerful New UNICEF Campaign

Josh WolfordSocial Media

Share this Post

According to UNICEF, 19,000 children die every day from preventable causes. And your Facebook like isn't going to save a one of them.

The United Nations Children's Fund Sweden division is calling people out with a powerful new ad campaign: we need money for polio vaccines and your slacktivism isn't helping.

"Like is on Facebook, and we will vaccinate zero children against polio," reads a press ad developed pro bono by ad agency Forsman & Bodenfors. "We have nothing against likes, but vaccines cost money. Please buy a polio vaccine at It will only cost you 4 euros, but will save the lives of 12 children."

The campaign, which is running in print, television, radio, and online, also has a powerful video ad featuring a 10-year-old boy named Rahim.

"My name is Rahim. I'm 10 years old and I live here with my brother," says the boy as the camera zooms in on a ragged apartment. "Sometimes I worry that I will get sick, like mom got sick. Then who will look after my brother?"

"But I think everything will be alright. Today, UNICEF Sweden has 177,000 likes on Facebook. Maybe they will reach 200,000 by summer. Then we should be alright."

With the rise of social media, we've also seen a rise in "armchair activism" or "slacktivism," the terms used to describe lazy attempts to support a cause via social media. One prime example was last year's Kony 2012 campaign, which saw millions of Facebook and Twitter users share viral video about the atrocities of Ugandan LRA leader Joseph Kony.

But you can see fragmented slacktivist campaigns every day on Facebook. "Like this photo and this baby gets the transplant it needs" and so on. Sure, clicking like or sharing a status may make you feel good, but it doesn't accomplish much more than that.

[Images via UNICEF Sweden]
Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf