MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA — Facebook has announced today that is it launching a joint effort with The American Red Cross to figure out how to convert likes on Facebook into food to send to impoverished people across the globe. According to the social media giant, most people care enough to like photos of starving children, but don’t want to be inconvenienced by having to find their wallet to donate to the Red Cross and other organizations.
Mark Zuckerberg sat down with APR’s Chief Poverty Correspondent Bryan Graff and told us more about the initiative:
“At Facebook, we strive to do the most good we can in the world and we think that with this we can continue doing this.”
Working closely with the scientific community, Zuckerberg tells us that the process of converting likes on pictures and even text posts is close to being perfected. This conversion method is very closely guarded but, according to a source within The American Red Cross, the process is a lengthy one.
For years, the best mode of activism on Facebook is liking posts because it’s streamlined. It shows your support but you also don’t need to go to an entirely different website and follow arduous steps to donate.
“And that’s not even including the fact that you’re losing money,” Graff says. “In our modern age, this initiative gives us the best of both worlds: we can help without inconveniencing ourselves.”
A representative from The American Red Cross tells us that they wish people would “just send money, but if this is the best we can do, we’ll take it.” They’ve seen a loss in donation along with charities and have been looking for alternative methods of getting support to those who need it.
“In a world without donations, where do we get donations? The answer is clear: we work with what we have.”
UPDATE: According to a leaked memo from The American Red Cross, the process seems to be printing out lists of names who liked certain photos on Facebook and shipping them to Africa for kids to eat.