Steven Seagal to Shutdown Facebook

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Steven Seagal is leading the way in shutting down social networks across the globe

The clever CHAPP spreads the word, gives a shutdown badge to wear online, and places their picture in a global mosaic next to the celebs

"By getting behind this unique and innovative campaign you will help drive forward initiatives that support people with autism throughout the UK”

Steven Seagal, Deepak Chopra, Buzz Aldrin, Miranda Kerr and people in more than 50 countries have committed to shutdown their social networks on November 1.

It won’t be easy for the addicts, but they’re doing it voluntarily to raise funds and encourage a greater understanding of people with autism who find social communication a challenge.

People can join the shutdown at http://communicationshutdown.org by donating £5 or more to receive a charity app (CHAPP). The clever CHAPP spreads the word, gives a shutdown badge to wear online, and places their picture in a global mosaic next to the celebs.

It’s the first time donations have been collected via the purchase of a social network application and people can direct their donation to their home country. Grassroots organisations around the world will be receiving the funds to provide much-needed autism services. Approximately 1 in 100 children will be affected by autism, but it’s only a minority that will have sufficient access to services to help them lead an independent life.

Autism Initiatives UK, a charity based in Liverpool is supporting the initiative. Andy Grainger, CEO of Autism Initiatives UK commented saying “Please lend your support to Communication Shutdown. When you shut down for a day you will help raise awareness of the challenges faced by people with autism every single day. By getting behind this unique and innovative campaign you will help drive forward initiatives that support people with autism throughout the UK”

Members of the autism community are getting behind the fundraiser including Dr Temple Grandin who was recently portrayed by Claire Danes in the Emmy award-winning, self-titled film. Dr Grandin recalled difficult times from her past. “I can remember the frustration of not being able to talk. I knew what I wanted to say, but I could not get the words out, so I would just scream. People will have some idea of what this feels like when they take part in Communication Shutdown,” she said.

Rachael Harris, another supporter on the autism spectrum, believes The CHAPP is a powerful way to create a sense of empathy towards those on the autism spectrum. “Electing to shutdown social communication mirrors autistic silence. But it also draws attention to the isolation and intense loneliness experienced by those who are impeded from connecting socially with others,” she said.

Communication Shutdown is coming at a time when addiction to social networking sites is growing but it also seems the world is ready to take a break. It will serve as a global social experiment as to whether one day without Facebook or Twitter is too much to ask, even for a good cause.

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Lucinda Blencowe

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