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Social media users urged to donate their profile for Refugee Week

Howard Lake | 1 June 2009 | News

The British Red Cross is encouraging online social media users to donate their profile spaces and images to highlight the needs of refugees during Refugee Week (15-21 June 2009).

The charity is urging its supporters to sacrifice their online identity temporarily by changing their status profile to a single uniform ‘label’. This is designed to remind people that refugees arriving in the UK are often labelled as a group, saddled with the same “refugee” label and not seen as individuals.

The social media campaign is intended to encourage us to “look beyond the label”.


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Working with digital media agency LBi, the British Red Cross is offering a social media toolkit which will include a range of ways to change your status tailored to each of the major social networking and communication platforms.

These include: profile pictures, instant messenger avatars, Twitter hashtags, a bebo skin, icons, blog badges and email signatures.

Users of Twitter and Facebook for example are encouraged to amend their statuses to “[yourname] is looking beyond the label”

The multi-media aspects of the campaign will be supported with a poll of public attitudes towards refugees, seeking to debunk negative connotations around those who seek sanctuary in the UK, to be targeted at print media, and Refugee Week events at Red Cross centres around the country.