It started with a single post to one of the Internet’s potentially life-sucking web-pages, where a member pledged one dollar to Doctors Without Borders for every ‘upvote’ received. The tinderbox-lighting member – Redditor zestyping – also offered an additional ten dollars for every similar donation in a 24-hour period.
The post went viral, others members kept upping the stakes, and if didn’t take long until some pretty audacious wagers were made. When all was said and done, over $150,000 was received by the international humanitarian organization.
This isn’t the first time individuals from the popular forum acted in unison to create something beautiful. In the past, Redditors raised over $600,000 for DonorsChoose.org, exchanged close to $150,000 in Secret Santa gifts, and the free pizza program has never been more popular.
What is happening within the Reddit community is like a microcosm for what new communication tools are doing to our entire world. Community building plus immediacy of information exchange, consensus of opinion combined with instant collaboration and mobilization – these forces, when wielded by tens of millions of people, stand to rock the very foundations of our establishment.
What this means is, thanks in part to a free internet, humankind will continue to build a more just global civilization. The end result of which will be a system that caters more to the vast majority of people instead of just the wealthy elite.