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Is the viral 'Ice Bucket Challenge' just 'slacktivism'?

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Bill Gates takes the "ice bucket challenge."
Bill Gates takes the "ice bucket challenge."

The "ice bucket challenge" has gone viral on social media.The stunts are supposed to raise money to fight ALS, but are they just the latest in "slacktivism"?

The "ice bucket challenge" has gone viral, raising millions of dollars for organizations focused on ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Bill Gates has done it:

Jennifer Lopez too:

The basic premise? People make a choice: either give a hundred dollars to an ALS organization or pour a bucket of ice water over their heads. Afterwards, they challenge several others to do the same. Many choose both the ice bucket and the donation. Some call it one of the most brilliant charitable giving campaigns ever, others call it silly and narcissistic. 

Marcia Stepanek, professor of New Media at New York University's Heyman Center for Philanthropy, says it's really nothing new. Social media "has always been about being able to look good, and to share that with family and friends... This media has allowed us to show off a little bit, but that certainly is not unlike what people who are donors in the philanthropy sector have been doing for generations."

What do you think of the ice bucket challenge? Let us know in comments. To hear this segment, click on "Listen Now" above. 

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