Reading global and national news articles can be a frustrating experience. You learn about issues you care about and would like to help out with, from the crisis in Syria to the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew, but the steps for doing so are unclear and abstract. Where can you give money or sign petitions? And, if you do, how do you know that your money is going to the right place, or that your petition is being read? That's where a new tool called Action Button comes in. This button, created by technology company Speakable, is launching today on news sites including The Huffington Post, Vice Impact, and The Guardian U.S. When you read a news article on one of those sites, you'll see the button, and have the option to quickly and easily take action by donating money, signing petitions, or taking a poll. You can also directly connect with policy makers (Action Button will provide you with an email template to use), or find out exactly which congressman you should tweet at regarding a piece of legislature.
The button automatically connects articles to applicable, prescreened NGOs, so you can feel secure knowing that your signature or donation will not be forgotten or misused. Jordan Hewson, the founder and CEO of Speakable, says that she decided to begin working to find a direct way to give back in 2012, when she read an article about Malala Yousafzai. "The article included a link to a petition that I could sign, but the link didn't register with me as something I should click on," Hewson told Refinery29. Hewson comes from social activist roots. Her father is Bono, who is known as much for his work fighting HIV/AIDS as he is for the legendary music of U2. For Hewson, Action Button is a much clearer, easier, and faster way for people to get involved when they read something that makes an impact on them. "People were engaging with these issues [before], but we couldn't capture the interest and energy where it was," Hewson said. Apps such as Give 2 Charity and Donate A Photo are other easy ways of giving back straight from your phone, but require you to open a separate app to do so. With this button, you can take action right from the article you're reading, without having to hop into a separate app. Now, instead of just sharing a bleak news article about Syrian refugees with friends on Facebook with a sad face emoji, you can immediately get involved. As Hewson says, it's an attempt to change the headlines, not just read them.