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Webby for Good is a collaborative program formed by The Webby Awards and WP Engine to showcase Webby-recognized projects built to change the world.

Describe your Webby-nominated project. What’s the elevator pitch?

We are submitting Russia's election hack for a Webby Award in order to inspire refection (and preventative action) among the tech/creative/media leaders who will attend the ceremony, because something must be done before it happens again in the midterms.

Why this particular cause as the subject of your project/campaign? Was there a moment that inspired it?

When it became clear that Russia used the very tools that our industry created to manipulate us, and ultimately sway the U.S. presidential election.

What concerns were there about pursuing this idea? How did you get past them?

The campaign is aggressively meta: The Webby community is our target audience, and the entry fees are our media buy. We've never seen anything like this before, so we pretty much had to make it up from scratch. We worried that no one would take us seriously, but ultimately felt it was too important and too pressing not to try.

What was the most rewarding aspect of working on your project? What did you learn in the process that you didn't know/expect going into it?

This project has generated a powerful conversation throughout our industry, and many people are starting to reflect on their own roles in creating this vulnerable media environment. We have had many people reach out offering to chip in to safeguard the midterms, which is the ultimate goal.

What real-world impact were you hoping to make with this project? Did the real-world impact meet your expectations?

So far we have raised awareness, but the ultimate goal is preventative action before the midterms.

Our dream is to be able to distribute a brief we have created during the Webby ceremony, which would spark the real-world impact we are hoping to create.

Did your team have a specific “breakthrough” or “a-ha” moment while formulating or executing this project?

We continue to have them every day. But we hope that the Webby ceremony is our culmination.

Was the tech/medium you chose crucial to conveying your message? If so, why?

The Webby Awards is the world's most prominent gathering of tech/creative/media leaders in the world: This community helped build the tools Russia exploited, and it is the only group of people with the skills, access, and expertise to do something to stop it from happening again before November.

What was the most significant challenge that arose during your work on this?

We believe there are many obstacles to come, but we are committed to spreading this message until something is done to safeguard our democracy.

How will you use technology in future work to create inspiring, cutting-edge projects that also make a difference in people’s lives?

We hope to inspire and collaborate on many high-tech initiatives to help voters avoid manipulation during the November midterm elections.

About the Viral Marketing category

An advertising and marketing phenomenon that facilitates and encourages people to pass along a marketing message. Can be a site, mobile app, or video-based advertising.