Bailey v. Potter, Facebook Edition

Sometimes we have some fun with HuffPo. But that’s not to say that the outlet, in its broader scope, doesn’t do some valuable and innovative—which is to say, exciting—work.

To wit: Move Your Money—Arianna Huffington’s campaign to combat “the huge, growing chasm between the fortunes of Wall Street banks and Main Street banks” by asking people to move their business to community banks—and, more specifically, the Facebook appfan page built in its name. Want to know how to open a new bank account during your lunch hour? Here you go. Interested in moving your money to credit unions? Check out the National Credit Union Administration for info on specific organizations. Et cetera.

It’s an intersection of many of the functions of media, old and new—information, community, advocacy, effecting change—all enabled by the new social connectivity of the Web.

As Felix Salmon put it:

People think long and hard about where and how they spend and give their money, and they — rightly — consider it very important that they do so in a manner that’s consistent with their broader beliefs. The big four banks, however, expanding across the country by acquisition, have simply taken over millions of consumers who never particularly wanted to bank with them and who are now giving them billions of dollars in fees and trillions of dollars in virtually zero-interest-rate deposits….

The point here isn’t to bring the big four to their knees: it’s not a negative boycott, in that sense, aimed at the destruction of something you hate. Instead, it’s a much more positive thing, telling people that if they move their money to community institutions, then they themselves will be better off financially (friendlier bank managers, lower fees, etc) and so will their community more generally. It’s a win-win proposition.


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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.