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Chrysi Philalithes

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Can Social Media be Used to Make the World a Better Place?

Posted: 09/23/10 03:01 PM ET

This week sees world leaders come together for UN Week to discuss the progress being made towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). When the goals were set, the words 'social media' did not live side by side. In 2000, Mark Zuckerburg was just 16 and it would take Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone and Evan Williams another six years to launch Twitter.

On Monday while world leaders met, so did hundreds of people -- both physically and virtually -- for the Mashable & UN Foundation 'Social Good Summit' which discussed how social media can be used to achieve the MDGs.

From Facebook and Twitter turning (RED) on World AIDS Day to Ashton Kutcher and CNNs support for malaria with their race to one million Twitter followers, every day people are using the social networks to help change the world.

Today, Thursday September 23rd is #SocialGood Day. (RED) has partnered with Mashable to encourage people to meet up and discuss how social media can be used for social good. We're interested in unleashing fresh thinking around how social media can raise awareness and create solutions for the social issues they care about. And we're also asking people to think about how social media can be used to help spread the message that we can eliminate mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS.

If a woman is HIV positive, her access to ARV medication will significantly reduce the risk of passing on HIV/AIDS to her baby. We are currently at a critical moment where the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS by 2015 is within our reach. Imagine that for the first time since the AIDS epidemic, there is the possibility for an AIDS free generation to be born.

And as is the spirit of this week, it will happen by world leaders attending the United Nations General Assembly meetings, social media gurus participating in Mashable and (RED)'s Social Good efforts, and you and me, acting to make it a reality. People will be meeting up on Thursday in Australia, Sri Lanka, France, UK and the U.S., to name just a few countries for #SocialGood Day.

Meet Up. Talk. Tweet. Post. I hope you'll join us for #SocialGood Day and show how social media is being used for social good.


Chrysi Philalithes is Digital Director at (RED), which was created to engage businesses and consumers to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. Join (RED) at the NY & London Meet Ups they are attending.