This Wednesday, Lady Gaga will kill herself, at least figuratively. She and other celebrities such as Justin Timberlake, Kim Kardashian, and Ryan Seacrest are ending their "digital lives" — that is, quitting their Facebook and Twitter accounts — until fans donate $1 million to an AIDS charity. Texting the name of the "dead" celebrity to 90999 will donate $10 to Keep a Child Alive, a charity set up by pop star Alicia Keys to raise money for HIV and AIDS sufferers in Africa and India. Should fans pay to bring celebrities back to the internet?
This is guaranteed to succeed: "Where we once had sponsored silences or fasts," says Mark St. Andrew at Cream, swearing off the internet is apparently now a "sufficient hardship to endure" in the name of a good cause. The involvement of Lady Gaga and her millions of fans more or less "guarantees the success of what promises to be a short, sharp effective fundraising scheme."
"Kim Kardashian and Lady Gaga are dead"
Some people would pay more to keep the stars offline longer: This initiative's worthiness depends on how you feel about Gaga, says Chris Matyszczyk at CNET. In some ways, the fundraising effort might have been more successful if the incentive for potential donors was a chance to keep her away from social media entirely. I fear that, for some Twitter users, the chance to rid the site of these stars might trump the worry of depriving "an excellent charity of much-needed funds."
"Lady Gaga quits Facebook, Twitter for charity"
Have it both ways: Donate to another charity and keep them silent: This "poses a dilemma" for me, says Bill Barol at Forbes. "More than almost anything, I would like Lady Gaga to clam up for a while." But I don't want to deny a charity of funds. What I'll do is send a donation to an alternative HIV/AIDS charity, and "sit back and enjoy the sound... of an online world that's a little less full of gabble and blather than it normally is." I wish fans would join me.
"Dear Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga: Please don't make me choose"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- Why the Supreme Court is allowing Texas to hold an unconstitutional election
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Why you should absolutely watch this confounding, wonderful World Series
- Rise of the machines
- House hunting: 6 stunning historic conversions
Subscribe to the Week