Backlash to ‘Digital Death’ Campaign

Ah well. They had good intentions.

As we reported yesterday, the “digital death” campaign for Keep a Child Alive has been a bust. At about 1p.mEST today, the tracker reported that only $183,533 of the $1 million goal has been raised since Wednesday. And the participating celebs are still largely silent (the last tweet from Lady Gaga pitifully reminds everyone: “@ladygaga is still dead. Text GAGA to 90999 and donate $10 to help children fighting HIV/AIDS.“)

Comments on our site and coverage on others point out that by pulling the celebs off of social media, the campaign has done itself a disservice, gagging a major fundraising tool.

Some have commented on the problems with the basic premise of the campaign. “The thing that fascinates me about this whole ordeal is that all these celebs have enough money to donate & raise between themselves!!” someone writes on AgencySpy.

“While I don’t have a problem with celebrities trying to get donations for any charity, I find that these celebrities think their abstaining from tweeting will inspire anything from anyone ludicrous,” writes whocares on The Daily What.

“The thing is, despite having millions and millions of combined followers, the actual cumulative effect of missing a few celebrity tweets is pretty minimal,” reads the PopWatch blog on

A quick search of “digital death” actually shows a great deal of coverage of the stunt, but just covering it isn’t driving donations. Strategy was lacking in creating the campaign, but it may soon need an exit strategy if the campaign stretches for days without making the $1 million goal. Perhaps participants will put up the money to get their digital lives back?

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