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‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ Epicenter Is Boston, Says Facebook

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Terry Francona of the Cleveland Indians accepts the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on August 20, 2014. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Terry Francona of the Cleveland Indians accepts the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on August 20, 2014. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) – The Ice Bucket Challenge has gone viral around the world. But statistics from a social media giant show that Boston is the epicenter of the fundraising campaign that has raised more than $40 million so far for ALS research.

Facebook announced that its data team has analyzed viral activity related to the Ice Bucket Challenge between June 1 and August 17.

The numbers show that more than 28 million users were talking about the challenge and that during that time frame, 2.4 million Ice Bucket Challenge videos were shared on Facebook.

This map created by Facebook shows the reach of the fundraising campaign across the United States.

Boston is the epicenter, according to Facebook. (Facebook graphic)

Boston is the epicenter, according to Facebook. (Facebook graphic)

The spread structure is based in the northeast, specifically in the Boston area.

The Ice Bucket Challenge gained traction in recent weeks because of the efforts of Pete Frates, a former Boston College baseball player who was diagnosed with ALS in 2012.

Facebook said the challenge has reached nearly every country in the world, with the United States the most popular country for posts. Australia is second on the list, followed by New Zealand, Canada, and Mexico.

Celebrity videos have played a part in the widespread nature of the Ice Bucket Challenge. Bill Gates’ post from August 15 generated more than 908,000 “Likes” and was shared more than 255,000 times. Ben Affleck’s August 18 video received more than 114,000 “Likes” and nearly 24,000 users shared it.

As of Thursday, the ALS Association reported that it received $41.8 million in donations between July 29 and August 21, compared to $2.1 million during the same time period the previous year.

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