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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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Attention Readers: We’ve Moved Our Journalism To The Pulse

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

A large portion of our journalism that you’re used to seeing on our Collective Evolution platform has now moved over to The Pulse. We will be publishing most of our news articles there, while Collective Evolution focuses more on personal development.

You can follow The Pulse on Telegram, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  

We’ve done this for a number of reasons, mainly due to the struggles we’ve had with regards to extreme censorship at Collective Evolution. We hope you join us over at The Pulse in our quest to keep doing what we do!

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Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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Abductions & Car Vandalism – Startling Australian UFO Report Unclassified

Gautam Peddada

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

An uncovered Australian report performed by their Department of Defence. “Scientific Intelligence — General — Unidentified Flying Objects” is trending again. Those who have done extensive research on UFOs will find the Australian version of disclosure to be far more intellectually honest than the American version. Albeit it was conducted decades ago.

According to ex-US intelligence official Luis Elizondo, the Defense Department’s Inspector General is presently conducting three reviews. The inquiries vary from the Department of Defense’s handling of UFO claims to Elizondo’s alleged whistleblower retribution. The open IG cases are crucial to Australia’s report because they establish beyond a shadow of a doubt that the US Department of Defense is being dishonest and shady when it comes to the UFO subject. For decades, Australia has been a loyal friend of the United States. Within Australia’s boundaries, they share a military installation (Pine Gap). When a close defense ally’s intelligence agencies determined that the US was not being intellectually honest in its approach, perhaps it is reasonable to conclude that there is more to the tale than the 144 incidents studied since 2004 by the UAPTF.

The CIA became alarmed at the overloading of military communications during the mass sightings of 1952 and considered the possibility that the USSR may take advantage of such a situation.

Australian UFO study.

According to the summary, OSI, acting through the Robertson-Panel, encouraged the USAF to use Project Blue Book to publicly “debunk” UFOs. In a tragic twist of fate, when Australian authorities sought explanations from the US Air Force, the allegation was debunked. The authors of the study were depicted as conspiratorial and even crazy by the US Air Force. Ross Coulthart reported this, and it may be heard in a recent Project Unity interview. Courthart is an award-winning investigative journalist who is drawn to forbidden subjects. He also stated on the same podcast that a senior US Navy official identified as Nat Kobitz told him that the US had been in the midst of reverse-engineering numerous non-human craft. According to his obituary, Mr. Kobitz was a former Director of Research and Development at Naval Sea Systems Command.

Continue reading the entire article at The Pulse. 

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Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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PGA Tour To End COVID Testing For Both Vaccinated & Non-Vaccinated Players

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CE Staff Writer 4 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The PGA Tour has announced that it will stop testing players every week, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not.

  • Reflect On:

    Are PCR tests appropriate to identify infectious people? Should people who are healthy and not sick be tested at all, anywhere?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The picture you see above is of John Rahm, a professional golfer on the PGA tour being carted off the golf course after tournament officials told him he had COVID. He was healthy and had no symptoms, yet was forced to withdraw from the tournament. He was told in front of the camera’s, and a big scene was made out of the event. You would think something like that, especially when you are a big time sports figure, would be done behind closed doors with some privacy.

Earlier on in June a spokesperson for the PGA Tour said that more than 50 percent of players on the PGA tour have been vaccinated. Although it seems that the majority of players on the tour will be fully vaccinated judging by this statement, it does leave a fairly large minority who won’t be, and that’s something we’re seeing across the globe as COVID vaccine hesitancy remains high for multiple reasons.

We are pleased to announce, after consultation with PGA Tour medical advisors, that due to the high rate of vaccination among all constituents on the PGA Tour, as well as other positively trending factors across the country, testing for COVID-19 will no longer be required as a condition of competition beginning with the 3M Open. – PGA tour Senior VP Tyler Dennis

The tour recently announced that the testing of players every week will stop starting in July for both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. This was an unexpected announcement given the fact that, at least it seems in some countries, vaccinated individuals will enjoy previous rights and freedoms that everyone did before the pandemic. Travelling without need to quarantine and possibly in the future not having to be tested could be a few of those privileges. Others may include attending concerts, sporting events, or perhaps even keeping their job depending on whether or not their employer deems it to be mandatory, if that’s even legally possible. We will see what happens.

Luckily for professional golfers, regardless of their vaccination status they won’t have to worry about testing positive for COVID, especially if they’re not sick. This is the appropriate move by the PGA tour, who is represented by their players and it’s a move that the players themselves may have had a say in. It’s important because PCR tests are not designed nor are they appropriate for identifying infectious people. A number of scientists have been emphasizing this since the beginning of the pandemic. More recently, a letter to the editor published in the Journal of infection explain why more than half of al “positive” PCR tests are likely to have been people who are not infectious, otherwise known as “false positives.”

This is why the Swedish Public Health agency has a notice on their website explaining how and why polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are not useful for determining if someone is infected with COVID or if someone can transmit it to others, and it’s better to use someone who is actually showing symptoms as a judgement call of whether or not they could be infected or free from infection.

PCR tests using a high cycle threshold are extremely sensitive. An article published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that among positive PCR samples with a cycle count over 35, only 3 percent of the samples showed viral replication. This can be interpreted as, if someone tests positive via PCR when a Ct of 35 or higher is used, the probability that said person is actually infected is less than 3%, and the probability that said result is a false positive is 97 percent. This begs the question, why has Manitoba, Canada, for example, using cycle thresholds of up to 45 to identify “positive” people?

When it comes to golf, the fact that spread occurring in an outdoor setting is highly unlikely could have been a factor, but it’s also important to mention that asymptomatic spread within one’s own household is also considerably rare. It really makes you wonder what’s going on here, doesn’t it?

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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