'What Color Is Your Bra?' Went 'Viral'; Did It Raise Awareness About Breast Cancer? : The Two-Way "What color is your bra?" craze on Facebook. Pointless or helping raise awareness of breast cancer?
NPR logo 'What Color Is Your Bra?' Went 'Viral'; Did It Raise Awareness About Breast Cancer?

'What Color Is Your Bra?' Went 'Viral'; Did It Raise Awareness About Breast Cancer?

My friend Shereen Meraji, over at the All Tech Considered blog, wondered yesterday whether the "what color is your bra?" craze of the past few days on Facebook really would raise awareness about breast cancer.

"Here's the thing," she wrote, "I changed my status, but I don't know anything more about breast cancer or how to protect myself against it. Now all my Facebook friends just know the color of my bra. Is this another example of slacktivism, virtual activism with no real results?"

Mary Carmichael at Newsweek's The Human Condition blog went so far as to call the whole thing pointless.

Courtesy of today's Washington Post there's some evidence that maybe — just maybe — this Facebook question that went "viral" made at least a small difference:

It was no game to the people at the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, who were stunned to find themselves the beneficiaries of a Web phenomenon they didn't begin to understand. At the start of Friday, they had exactly 135 fans on their Facebook page. By 5:30 in the evening, they had 135,000.

As of this moment, the foundation's number of Facebook friends has topped 136,000.

Update at 8:30 a.m. ET, Jan. 10: The foundation's number of Facebook friends is now over 137,000.

So, here's the question:

We'll keep it open until 5 p.m. ET on Monday.