By Jolie O’Dell | Mashable.com
Under the chilling tagline, “Humanity is an endangered species, it just doesn’t know it yet,” the Discovery Channel’s latest social media campaign uses Facebook to show you how a virulent disease could affect your life and those of your friends and family members.
This eerily realistic simulation uses a Facebook-like interface that is unique for each person who visits.
The website created by this application shows a fake newsfeed featuring your friends’ names and profile images alongside status updates, links, pictures, and comments about the disease, government-mandated quarantine zones, emergency services availability (or lack thereof) and much more. You’ll even see some watchable, UGC-style videos created by Discovery in the feed.
The updates contain all the trappings of real social media posts — ribbon-bedecked avatars, hashtags, how-to posts — but with a scary, sad, survivalist twist.
You can see pages showing updates for various stages of the disease running its course through your community, including “outbreak” and “pandemic.”
It’s creepy, it’s realistic, and it really personalizes the idea that disease — virulent, pandemic disease — is a reality for many people around the world at many points in world history. We never really know when it’s going to happen again.
Of course, Discovery’s campaign is a plug for a new show; The Colony will debut July 27 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. It’s a reality show that explores the fascinating and dramatic realities of a somewhat esoteric subject — epidemiology — that actually affects many communities, particularly in the developing world.
In the show, seven non-actor volunteers are taken to an area without clean water and power, ostensibly after a devastating pandemic. Supplies are short and rivals abound. It’s like a slightly more realistic version of a zombie flick.
Video from: YouTube.com
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