Ice bucket challenge videos, the viral craze of 2014, have raised more than $15.6 million for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis research and awareness since July 29.
The ALS Assn. announced the new figure Monday, a massive jump from the $1.8 million raised during the same period a year earlier. On Facebook alone, more than 2.4 million ice bucket challenge videos have been posted, the company said Monday afternoon. More than 28 million people have uploaded, commented on or liked a challenge post on Facebook. The videos encourage people to donate money to the ALS Assn.
The campaign took off this month with people recording themselves dumping ice and water on their heads, then uploading the videos to social networks, including Facebook, Vine, Instagram and YouTube. People who take the challenge then nominate others to do the same or donate to the ALS Assn. within the next 24 hours. ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, causes sufferers to lose the ability to control their muscles over time. ALS patients are typically given life expectancies of two to five years after their diagnosis.
Pat Quinn, 31, of Long Island is credited with starting the ALS campaign in late July, but the ice bucket trend goes back to earlier this summer when University of Arizona women's basketball coach Niya Butts posted a video of herself getting drenched to raise money for a cancer fund.
The tech world joined the movement last week with several notable figures posting videos including T-Mobile Chief Executive John Legere, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates also posted a video and challenged SpaceX and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk to do the same.
Musk accepted the challenge and posted a YouTube video over the weekend along with a tweet challenging video-game creator Markus "Notch" Persson, actor Johnny Depp and skateboarding legend Tony Hawk to do the same.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was one of the first in tech to upload a video, and his nominations -- Facebook operations chief Sheryl Sandberg, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Gates -- quickly followed suit.
Meanwhile, in the tech media, well-known reporter Kara Swisher of Re/code went on CNBC on Monday for her ice splashing. Swisher nominated Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch and actress Jennifer Beals.
Watch Sandberg, Hastings and Swisher's ice bucket videos below:
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