The ALS ice bucket challenge has been hijacked by the Macmillan Cancer Support charity. At least, that is something that many people are complaining about. The question is whether this is something that is acceptable or not.
Over the last three weeks, social media feeds have been full of people throwing ice water over their heads. Some big names have joined in with the fun, including Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Justin Timberlake and Selena Gomez. Other big names have done their own versions of the challenge, including the likes of Charlie Sheen and Miley Cyrus.
The challenge started by those raising money for the ALS Association and has been successful in raising $13.3 million over the last three weeks. This is an increase from $1.7 million from the same period last year.
A number of other charities claimed to be the ones that started the ice bucket challenge, but it was clear that ALS had something to do with it. When someone throws the water over their heads, their bodies go into a temporary state of shock. They struggle to move their muscles and some find it difficult to breathe. This mimics the symptoms that those suffering from the debilitating disease struggle with on a daily base.
Now the ice bucket challenge has been hijacked by Macmillian Cancer Support, a UK-based charity. Some of the negativity has come from the fact that the cancer charity is laying some claim to creating the challenge by not acknowledging that it was all started by the ALS Association on its website.
However, according to reports from Macmillian, the challenge was not even started by ALSA. Once it reached the United States, people started donating to that particular charity. However, it originally started in New Zealand. There has been no confirmation of who did start this in New Zealand or whether the cancer charity has been mistaken.
The question is whether there should be a problem with other charities using the challenge to help raise money. Either way, the money is going to a good cause and it is raising awareness for so much. Some people will have their favorite charities anyway and will choose to donate to those over the ones that others are telling them to donate to.
Macmillan Cancer Support is not the first to use the ice bucket challenge to raise money anyway. Of course, just because others have taken the challenge and used it for their own gain does not mean Macmillan should too. It almost brings about a sense of competition between the different non-profit organizations.
The truth is that these challenges are not copyrighted or protected by law. Anybody can use them in a way that they see fit. Throwing a bucket of ice water over someone’s head is not exactly a new thing, either. People have possibly done it in the past but social media has just helped it go viral much easier and quicker than ever before. However, does that still make it acceptable that Macmillan Cancer Support seems to have hijacked the ice bucket challenge?
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham
Macmillian Cancer Support