The big freeze
If you logged on to weibo over the weekend, chances are yournewsfeed was flooded with videos of US celebrities drenchingthemselves in ice water. It seems everyone is getting in on thefun, from popular singers like Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake,to high-ranking of tech executives including Bill Gates and MarkZuckerberg.
Is it some kind of new, cool way to cope with the summer heat? Of course not.
It’s a fundraising game called the Ice Bucket Challenge, and it aims to raise awareness foramyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
The challenge’s premise is straightforward. It involves daring a person to dump a bucket of icewater over their head within 24 hours, or donate money toward fighting ALS. Even if a personcompletes the challenge, they’re more than welcome to donate money anyhow.
Once a person completes the challenge, they’re supposed to issue the same challenge to severalother people, usually three, which is why the challenge has been growing and growing.
Buckets of money
Since the beginning of June, the game has spread across social media timelines and late-night talkshows in the US. According to Facebook, more than 15 million people so far have posted,commented, or liked a post about the challenge. It has raised more than $2.3 million (14 millionyuan) to support research for the illness.
As for the origins of the craze, new data from the Facebook data science team heavily supportsone theory: that the ice bucket challenge originated with Pete Frates, a former captain of theBoston College baseball team. Frates, 29, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2012, can no longerspeak and uses a wheelchair. After Frates posted his own ice bucket challenge video on July 31,the game took off and has now become one of the biggest stunts in the online community.
Seeing celebrities take on the ice bucket challenge is entertaining, but it’s even better watchingthem do it with a twist. Here are three celebrities who got creative.
Yet it’s hard to shake the feeling that, for most of the people posting ice bucket videos of themselves on Facebook, Vine, and Instagram, the charity part remains a postscript. Remember, the way the challenge is set up, the ice-drenching is the alternative to contributing actual money. Some of the people issuing the challenges have tweaked the rules by asking people to contribute $10 even if they do soak themselves. Even so, a lot of the participants are probably spending more money on bagged ice than on ALS research.