A recent event has brought up some huge red flags for me around data, around communities, around social impact, inclusion and even more. It’s a case of letting technology lead (or, rather, the people behind the technology) instead of the communities on the other end. This event focuses on Causes, an application for supporting and fundraising for organizations by individuals, groups and even the organizations themselves.
First, let me explain what happened yesterday. Administrators of Causes accounts on MySpace received a notice via email stating, “Thank you for the work you’ve done on Causes on MySpace. Due to the lack of activity on MySpace, we’ve decided to focus our efforts on the Causes Application on Facebook.” The message indicated that all Causes-related pages and content on MySpace would be taken down at the end of the week.
This may not seem too terribly interesting or scary, but let’s take a closer look.
Net Tuesday weighs in:
Causes’ move violated so much of what we work towards, what we open our laptops everyday to co-create – in over 50 cities around the world. We work to amplify voices, empower communities, and address issues across cultural lines. With their recent announcement, the Causes team, who had stepped to the plate as “equal opportunity” proponents, seem to be working towards the stark opposite.
… What’s more, we’re taking this as a moment of deep reflection and thinking-shifting about how communities may have to take the lead on technologies, how we prioritize & encourage open source and open data, and how we can reach out to and engage supporters on social networks.