The colours of the French flag all over the profile pictures of Facebook users following the Paris attacks had stirred a debate over slacktivism – the so-called online activism in which showing solidarity for a cause is as easy as the click of a mouse or the tap of a finger. Facebook was criticised for not allowing safety check features and change of profile pictures during attacks and bombings in Beirut, Nigeria, Syria and other trouble spots.
Now a new fundraising feature of Facebook will test users' participation in slacktivism as the social network has launched an improvised donate button to help non-profit organisations raise money for people affected by conflict areas around the world.
The donate button is available on both pages and posts. This will allow NGOs to raise funds from their pages for a specific campaign. "Including a donate button on a post will give people an easy way to donate directly from News Feed," Facebook's vice-president of product management, Naomi Gleit, said in a statement.
Glet said the feature also allows people to share their donations with friends. All shared posts will include a donate button, making it as easy for anyone who sees it to donate as it is to change a profile picture during any disaster.
"People raise money for disaster relief, they search for missing children, and they bring attention to the issues they care about. We've seen from our community that when people take action, lives are changed. We know we can do more to enable these connections."
The fundraising tool is now being tested with 37 organisations in 20 countries and Facebook hopes to expand it across the globe next year. "I'm excited to see how our community uses these new tools to do even more good in the world," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, adding: "We hope this makes it easy for you to support the causes you care about."