By: Amanda Kloer Commentary By: Matthew G. Jack
This article by my friend Amanda Kloer could not have been published on Change.org at a better time. Just this weekend I was thinking, what immediate action could my readers take to spread the word and bring awareness to the issue of Human Trafficking? Then Bingo, this article mysteriously appears. Please read this article and follow the 5 easy ways to fight Trafficking that Amanda lays out. Just these simple tasks can make a huge difference to this cause. Even if only one person was touched and motivated to also follow the 5 Ways, would it not be worth it? If only one victim was saved would it not be worth it. If only one victim never became a victim would it not be worth it? So read, log on and network, you will make a difference.
It seems these days that places like Twitter and Facebook, once reserved for the young and techno-savvy, have become a common part of life for many people. And while, yes, they still allow you a blow-by-blow account of your cousin’s sister’s roommate’s term paper writing, they can have a huge impact on this issues you care about. Plus, advocacy through social media is free and can take less than a minute. Here are five ways to fight trafficking via social media:
1. Take Action at Change.org: Change.org is about both information and action. So if you’re reading this blog, that’s a great first step. But did you know there are a lot of concrete ways to take action? You can write letters to ask The Washington Post to stop advertising brothels or to Mars to ask them to stop using child labor in cocoa production. You can also take pledges not to buy commercial sex or to try and shop fair trade more often. And if there’s something you want others to do, create a new action and encourage your friends!
2. Commit to a Trafficking Status Update Once a Week: Whether you use Facebook, MySpace, BlackPlanet, or something else, make a commitment to post an item or set your status to mention human trafficking once a week. You can link to an article or blog post, or simply make a “Did you know….” statement about human trafficking. You might be someone’s first introduction to the issue.
3. Tweet at Celebrities: Most people know Ashton Kutcher recently won his Twitter-off with CNN to see who could get the most followers. But did you know he tweets about human trafficking? When Ashton, or any other celebrity tweets trafficking, reply and let them know how excited you are that they are promoting this important cause. It’s a great way to start a conversation.
4. Build a Blog Action Day: Right now, the human trafficking blogosphere is pretty small, especially compared with some other social issues. Why not gather up a group and pick a day to flood the comments sections of related blog sites with comments about human trafficking? Think women’s issues, labor issues, children’s rights, local blog sites, newspapers and mainstream media, and anything else that seems relevant. You might be able to get someone talking about trafficking who wasn’t talking before.
5. Digg Trafficking: Of course, no one digs trafficking, but you can use the likes of Digg and Reddit to promote specific issues of human trafficking you care about. Excited that your hometown newspaper published an online piece about trafficking? Digg it and encourage others to do the same. News outlets are more likely to pay attention to an issue in the future if they get support for it in the present.
The key is to remember that using social media is all about having a conversation, in this case, a conversationa about trafficking. When people understand trafficking and talk about it socially, they are more likely to take the next step and start actively working to combat it.