Iris Zhan and George Zhang are two Chinese Americans who started FFF Digital in April 2019 when they were 15 and 16. It started out as an offshoot of Fridays For Future USA, when both had obstacles to participating in the Fridays For Future weekly strikes, but wanted to be part of the movement. They started the movement through posting pictures with paper signs saying “I stand with Fridays For Future” online, formed the hashtag #digitalstrike, and utilized their American climate activist network to encourage participation.
Each week, George would compile all the pictures of participants and post collages on his personal Instagram page. The original purpose was to create a solidarity movement of people who cared about the climate crisis, but couldn’t participate in weekly strikes, to make their voices heard online in standing in solidarity with FFF.
Rapidly, the movement grew to 30-60 participants per week, so in November 2019, the co-founding duo alongside their informal team of American climate activists created separate social media pages on Instagram and Twitter for the #digitalstrike movement. The pages were called FFF Digital, short for fridays for future digital strike. That’s how the name FFF Digital was born.
The FFF Digital movement started evolving to do more themed digital strikes to give their weekly collages more purpose. Each week, the account called on its supporters to create a climate action sign with a specific message on a certain theme, such as the Australian wildfires, or climate action for Christmas. Through Instagram and Twitter, FFF Digital started spreading through the international FFF movement.
When the global pandemic lockdown started March 13, 2020, the attention to FFF Digital and participation in digital striking shot up exponentially.
Fridays For Future Digital (FFFD) is part of the international and youth-led Fridays For Future (FFF) movement. Being able to strike in person is a privilege, not only since the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. Challenging political circumstances or personal reasons pose an obstacle to many activists all over the world, especially for Most Affected People and Areas (MAPA).
This situation is what sparked the birth of FFFD. With the objective of making climate strikes more accessible, Iris Zhan and George Zhang began digital strikes in April 2019, which became a global movement when the pandemic hit in early 2020.
Now, FFFD does not only focus on digital strikes, but has other initiatives as well and primarily aims to support FFF local group campaigns. FFFD works on providing a digital platform, particularly for BIPOC and MAPA activists, through social media, a blog site, a podcast, and more. In the case of insufficient media attention, our goal is to highlight voices, experiences, and projects relating to climate and environmental activism.
We additionally worked with FFF International in supporting the global days of action through organizing tweetstorms and other digital actions.
Find out about our current and past campaigns here. We invite you to join us from all over the world!