Communicating on Twitter for Charity: Understanding the Wall of Kindness Initiative in Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan
This study highlights the important role of social media for charity through an analysis of tweets about the Wall of Kindness charity initiative in Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, we employ a theoretical lens of social influence to explore how individuals and organizations used Twitter to promote charitable initiatives. User engagement on Twitter centered on content sharing and identification through hashtags, and imitative behaviors promoted the Wall of Kindness initiative across countries. Results from the thematic analysis reveal that Twitter users were tweeting about the Wall of Kindness to provide information, encourage donations, inspire others to action, and build an online community. Our content analysis reveals that a majority of the tweets were neutral and supportive of the initiative; users mostly shared textual information, followed by sharing images and videos, tweeting news links, and soliciting donations about the Wall of Kindness. Furthermore, media organizations, wall enthusiasts, and journalists were most active in tweeting about the charity initiative. Implications for future research are discussed.