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Twitter Helps Kuthcher Ensure No More Malaria

Twitter Helps Kuthcher Ensure No More Malaria

USA Today

January 29, 2010

If you’re still wondering why Twitter continues to be such a big deal, this story may just inspire you yet to take the plunge, and join this social media wunderkind.

It began last spring when Ashton Kutcher challeged Anderson Cooper and the folks at CNN to a Twitter race to see who could reach 1 million followers first, billing it as the “Ashton v. CNN Twitter race.”

Rather than merely competing for the sake of getting more followers, each side racked up followers to help Malaria No More (MNM) fight malaria in Africa. You see, Kutcher pledged to donate 10,000 mosquito nets to MNM if he reached the target number first. Well, he won, cutting a $100,000 check for these nets to MNM that very day.

Admittedly, the fact that Kutcher won with the most re-tweeted message on World Malaria Day in 2009 – - “Every 30 seconds a child dies from Malaria. Nets save lives. Support World Malaria Day =” — is past history. The real heart and soul of this story has only just begun to unfold.

This month, less than a year after the Twitter race took place, the mosquito nets (or “Twitter Nets”) are arriving at their final destination of Senegal, ready to save more than 89,724 lives.

“New media is revolutionizing the way people participate in humanitarian efforts,” said Scott Case, CEO of Malaria No More, in a news release. “Social media platforms like Twitter are changing how people engage in the world, where a simple online action can result in sending mosquito nets to Africa or disaster relief to Haiti.”

Continuing this commitment to social media for change, villagers are learning about Twitter at MNM’s distribution points, and are even posing for Twitter photos to say “thank you” to “twitteratis”, as their small dollar donations matched Kutcher’s pledge, combining for a total of $500,000 on Twitter alone.

For the complete story, go here.

How to help?

To support MNM’s efforts to end malaria worldwide, visit their website at

For your calendar: this year’s World Malaria Day is on April 25.

And in case you’re curious: Kutcher can be found on Twitter at @aplusk. Cooper is at @andersoncooper.

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