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Using Social Media for Grassroots Activism

  Jeff4Justice and Social Media

The story began with a blog that Jeff 4 Justice wrote to raise funds for his podcast show.  I saw it in one of my social media newsletters and was intrigued.  Jeff describes himself as a “social justice activist”.

As an online talk personality, Jeff has interviewed people including: Nobel Peace Prize, Academy Award, Emmy Award, and Grammy Award nominees and winners. He also speaks out for and creates interviews about homelessness, gay marriage, LGBT rights, and the US two-party system.

What You did NOT Expect

Turns out, Jeff lives in a car, like many other people. Something I don’t (like to) think about too often. What is different about Jeff’s story is that he has taken to social media – blogs, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter – to help him get his message out.

While crowd-funding is nothing new for businesses, I had not heard of a crowd-funding approach by a homeless man using social media. Right now, Jeff is on food stamps and hopes his podcast business plan will get him out of poverty in the coming year.

Here is Jeff4Justice speaking for himself 

Direct URL:

Questions I Had

  • How does a homeless person living in a car have access to the Internet and social media? Answer: Visit places that have free Internet and a mobile device.
  • I don’t know this Jeff guy, how do I know he is going to do with my money what he says he will = create a podcast business? Answer: I don’t, just like I can’t be sure my Kiva loan will be repaid, or that the family getting an animal from Heifer is going to take care of it. Plus, even if Jeff abused my trust, I could absorb the loss. I can afford to have some faith.
  • Do I want to support what he is promoting? Answer: I’ve been a member of Amnesty International for many years and feel strongly about human rights. I believe in philanthropy and open dialogue.

Twitter Rules & Account Blocking

Turns out, Twitter has shut down Jeff’s @Jeff4Justice  account as he has contacted users that met his search criteria to help with his crowd-funding. This inspired me to read Twitter’s terms of service (T0S) which have a sub-link to the “Twitter Rules“.

I don’t know what Twitter is accusing Jeff off, maybe he had complaints, but I was quite amused to find that the Twitter Rules are constantly broken, without consequence.

A selection on what is defined as spam:

  • “If you repeatedly follow and unfollow people, whether to build followers or to garner more attention for your profile.
  • If you have a small number of followers compared to the amount of people you are following.
  • If your updates consist mainly of links, and not personal updates.”

If you check out  some of Jeff’s channels, it’s obvious that he is frustrated, and I can understand that. I don’t agree with all of his comments and ideas but I applaud him for making an effort to get his voice out, and not just for himself, for others. Here a survey you can take to help him focus

Jeff’s Current Goal

Jeff is looking to create a podcast series that will “help towards the advancement of alternative political parties to overcome unfair election laws, media bias/blackout, and a lack of voter familiarity.” He would appreciate contributions to cover website expenses, and better audio and video equipment.  But most of all, he is looking for you to help him get more publicity.

And that is where social media comes in – again. If you are on social media and want to support Jeff in supporting others, you can use the following channels to send him a message, promote his appeal for contributions, and his blogs and videos. If you have more questions, you can ask him!  From my email exchanges with Jeff, I know that he cares most about getting the message out.

Here are his social media channels:

It would be amazing for Jeff 4 Justice to be picked up by news sites or talk shows like the stories of the homeless guy with a golden voice or the homelessman who made headlines handing out resume in downtown L.A..  

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