A week without Facebook – pay a small fee to help EAT

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Brian Eno will ‘spin it in the air’, says EAT How many of us do this? Consider one of the most shared features on Facebook – the disappearing photo …

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Brian Eno will ‘spin it in the air’, says EAT

How many of us do this? Consider one of the most shared features on Facebook – the disappearing photo filter called Moments.

A new campaign by industry body the Entertainment Association (EA) hopes to encourage Facebook users to log off their accounts – in exchange for a small donation to EAT, which supports non-profits and causes.

“A week without Facebook is like a week without pizza,” says Oliver Clarke, EA’s head of social initiatives.

“We want to get the conversation going about why we need to banish Facebook from our lives for good.”

For each day you log off Facebook in support of EAT, the ESA – the association that represents the video, audio and film industries in the UK – will donate £2 to support the campaigns of food poverty charity EAT. The offer is to stay on Facebook for just one day, rather than for a fortnight or more.

This is not the first initiative by the ESA to make sense of what Mr Clarke calls “the long-running debate about social media and media literacy”. The trade association, for example, supports a Royal Television Society initiative which allows middle and high school students to review recordings from “TV 1 – TV 1.9”, demonstrating how old TV shows could be combined and remixed to create something new.

“We are already witnessing significant change in the relationship between viewers and creators,” he says. “We are at a crossroads where we could either slide into a pre-internet internet world where we all interact with each other but don’t read stories or be like a library and over a wide range of platforms and services, where we don’t interact with creators but do access their work.”

For the ESA, news of Facebook’s recent decision to stop using the third-party tool Trending News to show some article in users’ newsfeeds might make it harder for users to understand what is a trustworthy, independent source of information.

When asked whether this risk actually affected EAT’s work, Mr Clarke says: “It’s very much a zero-sum game.”

“We don’t want to be tied into one medium.”

EAT is also supporting a new social media tool, Interactive Arts’ Reclaim Democracy, in its work with British local authorities, including Oxford city council. When campaigners can’t find official information, Interactive Arts’ platform calls upon volunteer citizens to help resolve the issue.

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