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Facebook Group Therapy: AIDS awareness campaign

We previously warned you about the danger of admins renaming Facebook groups you belong to, and today we learned about an interesting AIDS-awareness campaign from Germany, making creative use of this feared renaming option. The German organisation Vergiss Aids Nicht (“Don’t forget about AIDS”) created a few provocative Facebook groups with names like “I do it without condom” and “We hate condoms”, which altogether attracted more than 9000 members by December 1st 2009, World AIDS Day. That day, they renamed all the anti-condom Facebook groups so that their members were suddenly part of groups claiming they were HIV positive (“HIV. Verdammt, ich hab’s”) . The organisation replaced the group logos with their own, and edited the information to clarify their actions with a bit of background information.

Obviously, lots of group members and spectators were offended, and the campaign provoked many angry but also thoughtful reactions. Vergiss Aids Nicht considered all responses, positive or negative, as a success of the campaign which generated 8000 daily page impressions, 800 association members and a 20% increase in donations. “Small investment,” they conclude about their free of charge creation of Facebook groups, but “major success.”

Watch the video below, but please be aware that it contains strong language.

What’s your take on this German campaign? Would you be offended if you belonged to any of these Facebook groups, or does the end of raising awareness for HIV justify the means?

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Side notes

Facebook Group Therapy: AIDS awareness campaign Posted by on April 27, 2010 at 9:13 PM. Use this trackback if you're linking this story.

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