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From glamor aid to Twitter aid

Ryan Hahn's picture

In her book Dead Aid, aid critic Dambisa Moyo proclaims that the 2000s were the era of glamor aid. (Think Bono and Bob Geldof.) So what will the 2010s be? I think we already have an idea. This morning I received a newsletter from Kiva, the well-known P2P microfinance lender, and the title proclaimed proudly that "Brad Pitt Twitters about Kiva." (You can even follow a link to get a screenshot of Brad Pitt's twitter message.) I happen to be a fan of Kiva, but I have to wonder - am I the only one whose stomach turns at the prospect of aid flows being driven by the whims of celebrities through their Twitter feeds?

Update: OK, what's worse than aid flows driven by Brad Pitt via Twitter? Aid flows driven by someone posing as Brad Pitt on Twitter. Apparently, the folks at Kiva got a little too excited and forgot to do their due diligence:

Hey Kiva Supporters - we made a mistake when we said that Brad Pitt Twittered about Kiva a few days ago. We were notified today that the Twitter account named “TheRealBradPitt” is not in fact owned by Brad Pitt, the actor. The fake Brad Pitt profile has now been taken down by Twitter. I guess a lot of people were fooled (the profile had tens of thousands of followers), but I feel pretty embarrassed because I thought I had an eye for this kind of thing.

(Thanks to both Jason Resendez and Zahid Torres-Rahman for alerting me to the mistake.)


Funnily enough, I also post on Twitter and have talked about Kiva in the past too because I have a YouTube video discussing microcredit. These certainly are changing times, but that does not prevent us from still engaging in rigorous discussions and debates. Tools such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are methods of disseminating the outcomes of these.

Submitted by Alanna on
I actually blogged about this. I worry that the celebrity focus on "doing good" obscures the genuine stake we all have in global prosperity:

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