Facebook has published proof that Boston was at the center of the Ice Bucket Challenge’s social media explosion.
More than 28 million people posted, commented, or liked something on Facebook related to the Ice Bucket Challenge between June 1 and Aug. 17, according to data released by the company, and there were 2.4 million videos related to the challenge shared on Facebook during that time.
Facebook credits former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates and his fight with ALS as an explanation for the heavy Boston concentration, which makes sense. John Frates, Pete’s dad, took the challenge in this video on the Team Fratetrain Facebook page on July 29.
The challenge then spread from the Frates family to the larger BC community, with NFL players like Matt Ryan and Luke Kuechly eventually catching on. Former BC sports information director Dick Kelley, who died of ALS earlier this year, has also been mentioned in many Boston posts. Once these athletes, as well as a couple Boston Bruins, posted their videos and called out other stars, the rest of the city was ready to join in.
Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico joined the US as the countries most heavily participating in the challenge. Facebook said it has reached nearly every country in the world.
The challenge’s popularity has led to a surge in donations to the ALS Association. Between July 29 and Aug. 17, the association received $13.3 million in donations, according to The New York Times. The association received $1.7 million during the same period last year.