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The purpose of this question is to find a good way to share the basic concept of EA on Facebook or other social media platforms in order to introduce more people to these ideas and hopefully get them engaged and more likely to donate to effective charities in the future.

Maybe there has been some thinking on this topic already (in which case someone could maybe provide a link?), but my quick search didn't reveal anything.

In as far as cheap growth is desirable (I'm aware there's a debate), I expect the cost-benefit analysis of posting on Facebook about EA to be very favourable and I probably think every EA should do it. Many people will have hundreds of Facebook friends to whom they would otherwise likely never have talked about EA.

[Edit: Probably best to skip the remainder of the question and read alexrjl's comment, which seems convincing to me.]

However, I have very little experience with social media. Hence I would like to ask you, to provide feedback on this draft:

Effective Altruism. How to not only help others, but help them as much as possible with the resources available to you?

This is probably the single best idea I have ever come across. It is seemingly obvious, but the conclusions drawn when taking it seriously are anything but (and still debated). Effective Altruism has profoundly changed how I think about my life. Nothing else has ever been as consistently at the top of my mind for so many months.

If you are at all interested, please read a basic intro here:

If you aspire to using your career to do good, read 80,000 hours' key ideas here:
(or listen to their amazing podcasts)

I would also recommend reading "Doing Good Better", a book by William MacAskill, if you are curious and want a deeper dive.

Most people reading this have been born into the richest few percent in the world (test it at https://www.givingwhatwecan.org/get-involved/how-rich-am-i/ ). We should be grateful and give back.

And as it turns out, trying to do so effectively, can literally make one €100 donation the equivalent of another €10 000 donation.

IF YOU REMEMBER NOTHING ELSE, please consult https://www.givewell.org/ before donating in the future.

And hopefully, careful consideration can help some of us have similarly disproportionately large impacts through our careers.

P.S. Note that this community (like others) has warned of pandemics being one of our species' most important threats, long before COVID-19. That should maybe make you trust their judgement somewhat more.

If we want to optimise how many people actually become engaged with EA and how many people decide to donate significant amounts to effective charities, how should I change it?

Is it too long?
Does it sound cheesy? Is that a good or a bad thing?
Are there too many links? Or would you add others?
My thinking is that the second paragraph will make people more likely to read on. Do you agree or should I get straight to the links?
Though I am a long-termist, I included the line about GiveWell since I suppose it will be appealing to many more people than linking some X-Risk charity / fund. Do you agree?

I think ideally we would converge on a better version of this (with obviously wiggle room to change things) and I would maybe sum that up in a short follow-up post, to make it easy for everyone in the future deciding to make a similar post. If you don't think that's a good idea, let me know.




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I think the effect of a "this is what I think about something you should think it too" post is likely to be extremely small, and could be slightly negative. This is partly because such posts about other things are incredibly common on social media, but also because there exist misconceptions about EA that are easy to believe and require high fidelity communication to overcome. A couple of ideas with a higher chance of success:

  • Share a link to a single specific article or podcast episode you liked, along with a detailed recommendation of why you liked it.
  • If you loved doing good better, post about that, and how it had a significant impact on your life, then offer to send a copy to anyone who asks (because it meant so much to you) on the condition that once they've read it, they pass it on to someone else and ask that person to pass it on afterwards etc. Even if each chain is only 1 or 2 people long, this is going to be a great use of money.
  • If you have a birthday/other occasion where you get bought gifts, ask for donations to a specific charity, explaining how you found out about them, how you know they are cost effective, and why you believe cost effectiveness is important. Set an example by donating yourself, ideally more than you'd expect a typical present to be.

The key theme here is I've found that specific things with specific personal recommendations have a bigger effect than general things with a general recommendation.

I absolute agree that talking about your personal experience and how your life has changed makes so much more of a positive impression than telling people what they should do.

Thank you very much for that reply, you have convinced me and I will try all of those things.

Also, I now realise that sharing specific links etc. has the added bonus that it gives you a reason to post many times about EA themed things, instead of just once, so you can hopefully reach more people.

I really like all of these ideas!

Regarding the "passing along copies of Doing Good Better" idea, see this post from someone who organized a book giveaway.

I like the book distribution idea, but would suggest using the updated 10th Anniversary edition of The Life You Can Save. While its focus on global poverty makes it narrower than Doing Good Better, it has several advantages: · The audiobook and ebook are available for free · The celebrity narrators (e.g. Kristen Bell and Paul Simon) add credibility · It’s more up to date That said, I think it’d be really interesting to do an experiment comparing the efficacy of distributing each book. Note: I work for TLYCS the organization
alex lawsen (previously alexrjl)
I definitely think recommending the TLYCS podcast as a "this is a specific thing I really liked and am recommending" is a brilliant shout. Having said that, I think that seperately there's value in a post which says "this thing was so important to me I will spend money in order to make sure you get a copy". Luckily, doing both is possible.

I think this is a good question, and I like alexrjl's answers and the other comments there.

Here are two pages with links to a variety of additional resources which you or other readers might find useful:

But note that I don't think those resources are primarily focused on communicating about EA/GWWC on social media specifically.

(I also made a comment on an EA Hub google doc to suggest that it could be worth linking to this question, or alexrjl's answer, somewhere on their site.)

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