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Social Media Users Challenged to Shutdown Networks

MEDIA RELEASE                                                                                                          06 October 2010



4.5 Billion Social Media Users Challenged to Shutdown Networks

Today more than 40 autism charities and a team of celebrities worldwide are joining forces to launch a global campaign challenging the world’s 4.5 billion[i] social media users to shutdown their networks just for one day.

The Communication Shutdown campaign encourages Facebook and Twitter users to make a donation and receive a charity app or (CHAPP) that will signal their support and intention to boycott their accounts on 1 November.

Social communication is one of the biggest challenges for people with autism and by volunteering to shutdown the world will have some idea of what this is like. For a $5 donation, the CHAPP will connect with the user’s Facebook and Twitter accounts by placing a shutdown icon over their profile picture.

From today the Communication Shutdown CHAPP will be available on the campaign website The site will also host a global mosaic where supporters can see their profile pic next to celebrities who have signed up.

Celebrities who are supporting Communication Shutdown include Miranda Kerr, the Brisbane Broncos, Dr Temple Grandin and Shortland Street stars Sally Martin and Matt Minto.

“Social communication is one of the biggest challenges for people with autism, so I think challenging yourself to shut down your social media for a day is the perfect way to support this fantastic cause,” Sally Martin said.

New Zealand has over a million social network accounts and globally more than two thirds of the world’s population stay connected through networks like Facebook and Twitter. As people become more reliant on these channels to communicate worldwide, the Communication Shutdown fundraising campaign will also serve as a social experiment on social media habits.

This fundraising campaign is truly powered by the people and autism charities across the world encourage people to show their support by donating $5 to receive the CHAPP and spread the message across their networks from 1 October through to 31 October, ready for Communication Shutdown on 1 November.


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