The Normal Heart‘s Shlocky Facebook Campaign To Generate Buzz With $10k Donation Stunt

When Microsoft’s search engine Bing took to Twitter to promise $1 donated to Japanese earthquake/tsunami victims per retweet of its message (“How you can #SupportJapan – http://binged.it/fEh7iT. For every retweet, @bing will give $1 to Japan quake victims, up to $100K”), the reaction from the Twitter community was swift: “Hey @ bing, stop using a tragedy as a fucking marketing opportunity,” tweeted Michael Ian Black. And he was right: Convincing users to retweet your message isn’t the way charity should take place, especially when the end goal isn’t really about helping victims, but about spreading your marketing materials. And that’s just what producers of Broadway’s The Normal Heart are attempting with its “10,000 Likes” campaign, where the play has promised to donate $10,000 to the activist group Freedom To Marry if its Facebook page hits 10,000 “likes.” As of this post, The Normal Heart‘s page is up to 2,589 likes — and that’s where it should stop. Listen, folks: If you want to donate cash to a good cause, do it. But don’t pretend a gimmick to generate free publicity on a social network counts as “doing good.” It doesn’t. And it makes you look like an opportunist, willing to commoditize activistism to sell a few more tickets.