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Social Media For Viral Social Change

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Once upon a time, running a campaign meant knocking on doors, picking up the phone and taking out ad space — anything to alert the public to your cause. More often than not, the time, effort, and money invested in traditional campaigning methods far outweighs the results, and the capacity of a group or individual to instigate change depends largely on the resources at their disposal.

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Enter the age of the internet — and social media in particular — and this is no longer an issue. Today, a message, movement, or debate can go viral in minutes, and it’s not only politicians and corporate brands that are using the internet to further their cause. Social media is increasingly being used to establish and drive humanitarian initiatives, showing just how the digital world can effectively translate into real-life social change.

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Campaigning in the Internet Age: What’s New?

Never before has the world been so connected. With free social media platforms, an open blogosphere, and ready-made templates such as these making it possible to create a website in minutes, the internet is an open forum that virtually anyone can be a part of. Essentially, it has established a global community, defying geographical borders and opening up a universal channel of communication. This has significantly changed the way we interact with our peers — not only our friends, but also far-flung communities — and ultimately, the way we approach important issues.

Prior to the internet, awareness of an issue or cause was very much restricted by physical location. Unless particularly newsworthy, something going on in a specific town in India, for example, may not ever have reached the ears of those in America. Equally, someone living with a rare health condition would have found it extremely difficult to raise awareness beyond their immediate friends and family.

The accessibility of the internet has completely changed this, meaning that news can be shared, spread, and brought to people’s attention quicker than ever before, with very little effort and at no financial cost. Whilst this can have its downsides, it no doubt presents plenty of opportunity when it comes to driving social change. In short, the internet and social media have got the world talking.

Of course, Facebook and Twitter are not the magic solution to the world’s most pressing issues. In fact, you might argue that social media makes it all too easy to appear to back a cause without actually requiring any genuine engagement. As Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith (authors of The Dragonfly Effect) point out, there is the potential to “create a perception of action or participation where there is, in fact, inaction.” However, just like traditional campaigns, supporting a cause is not necessarily about taking physical action.

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Sharing, liking, and hash tagging are the modern-day equivalents of signing a petition, and both have the same goal: to spread the word, raise awareness, and create a chorus of voices loud enough that those in power have no choice but to sit up and listen. Sharing a Facebook post may seem like the laziest way to get involved in a cause, but the sheer scale and speed of the online community makes it a far more powerful tool than any traditional method.

Social Media in Action

But still the question remains: are likes and follows just meaningless numbers, or do online campaigns actually translate into real-life social change? In a word, yes — and there is no shortage of case studies to prove it.

One prime example is the story of Sameer Bhatia, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who used the power of the internet to beat cancer. Upon being diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML), Bhatia embarked on a mission to find a matching donor for a bone marrow transplant that could save his life. Usually, this is where the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) would come in, but only 1.4% of its registered donors were South Asian; given that tissue types are inherited, Bhatia’s chances were even slimmer than usual.

What’s more, India — where his family was originally from — had no such registry. Through a simple yet compelling email campaign, Bhatia was able to extend his search beyond geographical proximity, reaching over 30,000 people within 48 hours — something that would not have been possible without the internet. Not only did he manage to find a suitable donor, he also raised awareness of the condition in the process, using social media platforms to set up bone marrow drives nationwide.

Bhatia’s story is just one example of how forwarding, liking, or sharing a post online can yield real, offline results. Far from being a one-off case, social media has also been known to play a critical role in politics — from the Arab Springs to the Israel loves Iran initiative, which saw an Israeli couple use Facebook to launch their very own peace campaign.

What Makes a Successful Social Campaign?

The sheer scale and accessibility of social media — and the internet in general — gives online campaigns the capacity to reach not only a vast amount of people, but also an extremely wide range, not just those who are politically engaged or happen to be in a certain place at a certain time. Social media usage is not limited to any particular age group, gender, or country, and therefore acts in many ways as a rare meeting place for citizens all over the world, from all walks of life. In this respect, it is incredibly effective at raising awareness and generating strength in numbers.

However, popping up on someone’s news feed is one thing, getting them to actually engage with the cause is something else altogether. We’ve all been guilty of giving that charity worker in the street a wide berth, so what stops us scrolling past those calls for help on social media?

As previously discussed, the ease of participation no doubt plays a part —clicking “like” or “share” is a lot less time-consuming than engaging in a discussion. Another possible reason could be that such posts reach us via those already in our network, perhaps creating an instant sense of connection to the cause at hand; sometimes, the knowledge that our peers are doing something is all it takes to get us on board.

This is especially true of dynamic campaigns that see social media users taking part and nominating their friends to do the same. The ice bucket challenge brought an element of fun to charitable giving while raising $115 million for the ALS Association — topping the previous year’s $13 million in such a way that would most certainly not have been possible without the internet.

However, this certainly doesn’t mean that every worthwhile cause launched on social media is guaranteed to meet with huge success. According to the Dragonfly Effect, a powerful social campaign needs not only to tap into social media, but to also draw upon marketing strategy and consumer psychology. In doing so, an online initiative should simultaneously focus, grab attention, engage, and take action, with all four elements working in harmony — like the wings of a dragonfly — to achieve one goal.

One of the most remarkable things about social media is that it enables everyday people to be just as powerful as corporations and governments; an online campaign for change can be established by just about anyone with the desire to make a difference, regardless of financial resources or social status. Of course, there is nothing to stop political bodies — or individuals — employing the same techniques and strategies for less altruistic means, but there is no denying that, when used as a tool rather than a weapon, social media is one of the most powerful methods at our disposal for driving positive change.

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Togo, West Africa Bans Glyphosate

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Togo, a country in West Africa has decided to ban the use of toxic chemical pesticide, glyphosate because of growing health and environmental concerns.

  • Reflect On:

    Togo joins 20 other countries who have decided to ban this pesticide, do you think your country will ever do the same?

Recently, a country in West Africa, Togo has prohibited the ‘import, market or use of glyphosate and any other product containing it.’ This decision was finalized in December of last year by the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Production and Fisheries, Noel Kouerta Bataka.

If you are unfamiliar with glyphosate, it is a chemical pesticide made by none other than agricultural giant, Monsanto, Bayer. Glyphosate can be found in RoundUp and used on crops that have been genetically engineered specifically to resist its toxicity, allowing farmers to kill the weeds and pests without killing their crops. The problem is, it is extremely toxic not only for the consumer of products containing it, but for the land and soil as well where it is grown.

There have been numerous studies, many of which CE has reported on that link it to cancer, liver disease, autism, birth defects, brain damage and more.

“It is commonly believed that Roundup is among the safest pesticides… Despite its reputation, Roundup was by far the most toxic among the herbicides and insecticides tested. This inconsistency between scientific fact and industrial claim may be attributed to huge economic interests, which have been found to falsify health risk assessments and delay health policy decisions.” – R. Mesnage (et al., Biomed Research International, Volume 2014 (2014), article ID 179691)

After 2 years of political discussions in Togo, regarding the worlds most popular herbicide, many are celebrating the decision that was finally made to have it outright banned. Bataka has allowed a 12-month moratorium for all of the current glyphosate supplies to be either used or destroyed.

Ban Of Glyphosate Around The World

As awareness grows regarding the health concerns of glyphosate, so does government level support worldwide. Not only has Key West, Los Angeles, Miami and The University of California banned or restricted the use of this toxic chemical so, have 20 countries around the world. These countries are,

  • In Africa — Malawi and Togo.
  • In Asia — Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar.
  • In Central America — Bermuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Costa Rica
  • In Europe — Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, The Netherlands

So we still have yet to see bans in Canada, United States, Mexico and many other countries, but hopefully stories such as these will keep the awareness and momentum going and help others to see that this toxic chemical pesticide should not be anywhere near the food we are eating or on our precious Mother Earth.

It’s a big problem, and it’s now entered into our food supply.

How To Avoid Glyphosate

One might believe that they simply have to avoid genetically engineered foods to avoid glyphosate, and while that is a good start, unfortunately it’s not that black and white. There are many non-GMO foods that are still sprayed with this chemical and thus have high concentrations of it.

In reality your best bet would be to grow all of your own fruits, vegetables and even nuts, but unfortunately in this day and age this is not very plausible for everyone.

The foods that are highest in glyphosate are: soy, wheat, almonds, peas, beetroot (including beet sugar), carrots, sweet potatoes, quinoa, peas, tea, meat and dairy, corn and oats. However, many other unsuspecting foods have also have tested positive for high levels of glyphosate including many fruits and berries such as: apples, apricots, cherries, grapefruit, grapes (wine as well), lemons, olives, peaches, pears and more.

To avoid glyphosate altogether sticking to an all-organic diet is necessary. If this is an obstacle for you, consider locally grown produce where you can talk directly with the farmers about their growing practices. Many farmers grow organically , but cannot afford to obtain the organic certification. You can also wash your produce in baking soda and vinegar click HERE for instructions.

Final Thoughts

While it may seem hopeless at times to even try to avoid environmental toxins like glyphosate, we have to remember that the more we do, and the more we put our money where are mouths are and vote with our dollars, the less these chemicals will be used. We have already seen many big brands step away from using GMO ingredients because of consumer demand, so it may not be as far off as you think.

As countries like Togo step forward and do what is right for their citizens and the planet, awareness will continue to grow and it will assist others in seeing the truth about these chemicals and inspire others to make a change as well. We have more power than we realize and anything can change, with enough awareness.

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New Bodycam Footage Reveals Details Of George Floyd’s Arrest Prior To His Death

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    New police bodycam footage shows what happened prior to George Floyd's death.

  • Reflect On:

    Do we have solutions that can lead us to different societal outcomes, not based on new belief systems, but truly allowing people to experience peace, emotional calm and connection?

George Floyd’s death at the hands of police officer Derek Chauvin was one of the events of 2020 that has brought up a great deal of collective shadows that need to be addressed. News of Floyd’s death sparked massive civil unrest and protests that are still going on today, more than two months since it happened.

New police bodycam video shows a terrified George Floyd begging for officers not to shoot him. The footage is from body cameras worn by officer Thomas Lane and Alex Kueng, two of the four cops fired and charged in Floyd’s death. The video was leaked to the Daily Mail and shows officer Lane, approaching Floyd’s SUV, ordering him to show his hands. Floyd does not comply, so the officer pulls out his gun.

“Please don’t shoot me. Please[…] Please, please don’t shoot me. I just lost my mom, man.”

“Put your hands up there,” says the office. “Put your (muted) hands up there. Put your hands on the wheel.”

“I didn’t do nothing wrong,” Floyd says as he’s dragged out of his SUV and handcuffed. Floyd is then taken to a police vehicle across the street, where officers attempt to get him inside. Floyd pleads that he’s claustrophobic and scuffles to avoid being put in the vehicle.

“I’ll roll down the window,” one of the officers says.

“Please, I’m not trying to win,[…] “I’m not a bad guy, man. I’m not a bad guy.”

Floyd is wrestled to the ground after avoiding going into the backseat. As the video ends Floyd begins telling officers “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.” The world is aware of how this incident ends.

The current murder case against former cops Thomas Lane, Alex Kueng, Derek Chauvin, and Tou Thao is ongoing. This piece of footage is being used as evidence in the case.

The video below shows the entire incident. Viewer be warned some of this footage may be unsettling.

Why It Matters: The Floyd death has had me wondering what can honestly be done differently when it comes to policing. Watching this video I did not feel a sense of connection and community amongst officers. I felt a separation between them and the potential ‘criminal’ they were engaging with.

In the US, stats show this type of behavior can affect black people more than others, but I never felt this incident was race-related. To me it felt like how many police interactions feel: stressful and disconnected. So why is that? Why in general is humanity so disconnected from one another?

A deeper look into the state of being of police officers points us to the fact that police are consistently under a high level of stress and are not living in a balanced state of being while on the job. Not a surprise to some, but perhaps to others.

I’ve often wondered if the larger issue here is that we have a police force that is experiencing “among the most stressful occupations in the world and officers typically suffer a variety of physiological, psychological, and behavioral effects and symptoms,” according to a 2012 study examining the role of stress and other psychological challenges in a police officers life. “Officers operating under severe or chronic stress are likely to be at greater risk of error, accidents, and overreactions that can compromise their performance, jeopardize public safety, and pose significant liability costs to the organization” the study abstract continues.

After following 59 police officers through 16 weeks that had been trained on Heart Math’s Resilience Advantage® training, it was noted that:

“The greatest and, in our view, most important effect of the self-management training was seen in the participants’ increased ability to manage their moods and emotions, which is a fundamental key to sustaining resilience. … For the police officer, the abilities to think rationally under stress, concentrate, plan ahead, remember and organize crucial information, make effective decisions, and control inappropriate emotion-triggered reactions are critically important and in some cases, can determine the difference between life and death for the officer and other parties.”

Since 2012, 300 to 400 police officers per week in the Netherlands have received heart coherence training through the HeartMath.  It was estimated that by 2016, 30,000 Dutch officers would have gone through the training, we are awaiting an update on this figure. HeartMath Benelux is an official partner of the Dutch Police Academy as clearly they see value in this form of training for officers.

The Conscious Takeaway: Why is the emotional and psychological state of an officer not one of the most important factors discussed in the media? It so often comes down to race as our social engineering has trained us to view things in that manner.

We have a potentially extremely powerful solution through Heart Math’s Resilience Advantage® training yet instead of having these discussions we point to divisive narratives like race? But does this really account for the vast majority of poor interactions with police? Perhaps it’s time for a new approach?

Maybe we can begin to address the state of being of ourselves and start taking responsibility for how we feel, what we go through, and how to master our emotions? There are plenty of tools out there, it simply requires a cultural shift in wanting to move towards peace vs staying right where we are. It moves us from a story of separation to one of connection – something that we experience directly, not are taught through beliefs and ideas.

Perhaps attuning to heart coherence can be a solution alongside other proposed ideas?

After all, are the police not people we want to feel like can truly help the community?

“It makes you not want to call the police department […] If you don’t feel safe with the police department, then who do you feel safe with?” – James Smith, neighbor who called police.

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Alan Dershowitz Implicated In Unsealed Ghislaine Maxwell Documents

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Alan Dershowitz has been implicated in the latest events pertaining to the Ghislaine Maxwell case. Virginia Roberts Giuffre, the accuser, is claiming to have sexually engaged with him as a minor, unsealed documents reveal.

  • Reflect On:

    How many people may be implicated here that don't come to light? Is there something deeper going on here that remains to be uncovered and continues not be covered by mainstream media?

What Happened: Well known attorney and political commentator Alan Dershowitz has been implicated in the latest news pertaining to the Ghislaine Maxwell case. She is currently being held in New York awaiting her trial next year. Dershowitz was mentioned, along with Bill Clinton and others in a set of unsealed documents that were part of now-settled civil litigation against Maxwell. She appealed the decision of the judge to unseal them, but to no avail.

Maxwell was Epstein’s right hand person, and the documents, along with testimony from many others over the past few years, show that Maxwell sexually abused children and also directed victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre to be sexually abused by others, using her and many others as sex slaves.

The NY Post explains:

The emeritus Harvard Law professor was accused of having sex with then-minor “Jane Doe #3” — identified in court documents as Virginia Roberts Giuffre — and witnessing Jeffrey Epstein and others sexually abusing girls and young women.

The allegations, lodged in a 2014 court filing, reemerged in more than 600 pages unsealed Thursday night in Giuffre’s 2015 defamation case against.

In 1997, Dershowitz wrote the following: “Reasonable People Can Disagree Over Whether It Should Be As Low As 14.” You can find that article and read more about that here.

He is currently denying the allegations made by Giuffre, calling her a liar. He also stands by that article he wrote in 1997.

Why This Is Important: Elite level trafficking and pedophilia are coming to light, and it’s a major step for humanity given that many implicated and accused people are those in positions of great power, and in some cases made out to be idolized by the general public, usually showered with fame and fortune.

Research indicates there are many children suffering and that do suffer as a result of this activity, and there are so many examples going beyond the Jeffrey Epstein showing that this is quite rampant among our political and financial elite, and among those who pull the strings that we never really see.

This type of activity also shines light onto the world of politics. For example, with regards to Epstein and Maxwell, there is evidence suggesting that both are actually high ranking intelligence officers, with the job of entrapping powerful politicians and people. You can read more about that here. Is this what goes on in the system we continue to hold up and empower by voting year after year? Why are we playing with a system that’s clearly created out of disconnection and separation, and that does not allow humanity to thrive?

Is it time for something new? Is the current state of our world a reflection of the ‘leadership’ we choose and agree to put into power?

If you want to see some more examples and dive through more evidence, you can refer to this article I published towards the end of last year.

You can also watch our interview with a survivor of these types of pedophile rings.

You can access the full interview and start your free trial HERE on CETV, a platform we created to help combat internet censorship and allow us to continue to do our work and get the word out about various issues and topics.

The interview is with Anneke Lucas, who is is an author, speaker, advocate for child sex trafficking victims, founder of the non-profit organization Liberation Prison Yoga, and creator of the Unconditional Model. Her work is based on personal experience of a 30-year healing journey after surviving being sold by her family as a child sex slave to a pedophile network.

The interview is deep, and goes into the consciousness aspect of her experience and why that aspect is so important.

The Takeaway: There are many events taking place that are causing people to really question what’s happening on our planet and why. Why do we think and live the way we are living, and why is there so much misinformation, deception, and examples of fraud and deceit that come from multiple governments? Is it really a surprise that many of these people may be involved in activities that represent such a disregard for human life? Isn’t that what geopolitics has resulted in? War is a great example.

More people are starting to realize that we’re not really living in a democracy, but in the illusion of democracy where our physical rights are slowly taken away by governments who are capitalizing on crisis after crisis, ones in which they themselves help create and prolong.  Elite level child trafficking simply shines a light on how our current level of unconsciousness is creating a world built on disconnection.  Now is a time where these truths are being made transparent.

At the end of the day, we can change things anytime we want. We are indeed that powerful as one human collective.

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Collective Evolution is one of the world's fastest-growing conscious media and education companies providing news and tools to raise collective consciousness. Get inside access to Collective Evolution by becoming a member of CETV.

Stream content 24/7 and enjoy mind-expanding interviews, original shows, documentaries and guided programs.

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