It was Monday last week when we started to take notice.
'Viral', a friend of mine who owns a media company told me recently, is a word marketers no longer use. Fair enough. These last two weeks have seen the unprecedented viewing and sharing of a video we posted on our Facebook feed. Produced by MTV Exit and pop artist Birkii, the video tells 3 stories of how trafficking in persons happens through pop-up book animation.
Since we shared this video on March 27, the response has left us astounded. At the time of writing, 1,084,642 people have viewed the video, 28,266 have shared it and Facebook’s algorithm has ensured the video has "reached" 3,970,048 people.
3,686 people liked the video. Comments continue to pour in. Bewilderment, rage at the perpetrators, rage at the victims' gullibility, disgust at humanity, gratitude at the clarity of the message, heartbroken despair…
How do we explain the strength of the response? In the 7 months prior to us posting the video on Facebook, the video had registered 12,340 views on YouTube. So why now? What does 1 million views and counting tell us? The video production is brilliant, but it is more than that. Clearly a chord has been struck. The reality of trafficking in our day horrifies and compels us to respond. This is significant. The anger, the indignation, the "I'll shout this from the rooftops" response are energy for action.
But action to what end?
The short film leaves the viewer with a question: Now that you know, what are you are doing about it?
That question, of course, precipitates another. One viewer put it this way: “This doesn’t provide me with any information about how to solve it”.
Speak up. Share. Retweet. Post. Prompt. Petition. Absolutely.
Get informed. To find out about human trafficking happening right here in Australia, visit Anti Slavery Australia. For piercing insights into the global epidemic of violence against the poor (and uplifting examples of working solutions), check out IJM President & CEO Gary Haugen's book, The Locust Effect.
Engage for the long haul. Victims of injustice don't need spasms of passion. They require relentless advocates. Be one.
Now that you know, ACT.
International Justice Mission is a global organisation that protects the poor from violence throughout the developing world. IJM partners with local authorities to rescue victims of violence, bring criminals to justice, restore survivors, and strengthen justice systems.Find out more