What others are saying about ... the Ice Bucket Challenge

What others are saying about ... the Ice Bucket Challenge

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few months, you've probably witnessed the Ice Bucket Challenge, a strong movement on the Internet to raise money for ALS research. From basketball star LeBron James to country singer Miranda Lambert to former President George W. Bush, participants have helped raise nearly $90 million so far. All of this leaves the question: What social media stunt will charities come up with next to support their efforts?

"To the more than 28 million people who have discussed the Ice Bucket Challenge on social media since the beginning of June, this obscure ailment has become part of daily conversation. ... If nothing else, the attention the video challenge has focused on ALS has consoled my family and me."

— Christine Gibson, a writer from Blacksburg, Va., in a recent Forbes article. She lost her mother to the disease.

"The truth is, I'm grateful this silly viral effort is raising so much awareness and so many funds to help wage a war against something that is so treacherous and so frightening."

— Rebecca Butler, who lost her mother to ALS, on mindbodygreen.com

"A lot of the participants are probably spending more money on bagged ice than on ALS research. As for 'raising awareness,' few of the videos I've seen contain any substantive information about the disease, why the money is needed or how it will be used. More than anything else, the ice bucket videos feel like an exercise in raising awareness of one's own zaniness, altruism and/or attractiveness in a wet T-shirt."

— Will Oremus in Slate magazine

"There are a lot of things wrong with the Ice Bucket Challenge, but most annoying is that it's basically narcissism masked as altruism. By the time the summer heat cools off and ice water no longer feels refreshing, people will have completely forgotten about ALS. It's trendy to pretend that we care, but eventually, those trends fade away."

— Arielle Pardes on vice.com

"Six months ago, you'd file a restraining order against anyone who threatened to dump a bucket of ice water over your dome. These days, everyone from ex-presidents to movie stars to high school marching band members are joyfully risking brain freeze and posting the video proof on Facebook or YouTube. What makes this Ice Bucket Challenge so diabolically infectious is that it is all for a righteous cause."

— Doug Clark in The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash.

"Have you stopped checking Facebook to avoid the countless ALSA ice bucket challenges videos? I'm tempted. Seriously, we need to set a date and say if you haven't done the challenge by Aug. 31, then sorry you can't participate. Who likes that idea? Yea, I knew I wasn't alone. While ALS is a serious disease, it seems wasteful to dump buckets of water on our heads when there are children around the world dying of thirst or drinking dirty water."

— Christie Dedman in the Huntsville (Ala.) Times

Your thoughts on fundraising fads

Copy editor David Burleson hit the streets of Champaign earlier this week to discuss social media campaigns to raise money for charitable organizations.

"Initially, it just kind of turned me off because I did see a lot of people just dumping buckets of water on their head, and I don't think they knew why they were doing it; it was just something cool and trying to see the most creative way to do it. On the other hand, I'm a hospice worker and I've worked with a lot of ALS patients, and I think it's amazing that this money has been raised. I'm just so torn because it still does kind of turn me off, but I'm so excited for ALSA and the money that has been raised as a result."

— Elizabeth Rieke, Urbana

"I think it's a good thing as long as they actually send the money in and they're not just doing it to get a bunch of likes on their Facebook page."

— Ryan Fuqua, St. Joseph

"I think it's great that the money has been raised, but I also feel like the purpose of the campaign is not really there for a lot of people, and I also think it's a tremendous waste of water."

— Brynn Howard, Champaign

What others are saying about ... is compiled by Dan Corkery, managing editor-administration, and copy editor David Burleson.

Sections (2):Editorials, Opinion

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