Social Network Revolutions – Activism, Clicktivism or Slacktivism?

With social media being so popular especially for raising grass roots campaigns and attracting attention to issues the rise of online activism which can be referred to as clicktivism has divided the public.

According to Janssen (2010) clicktivism is a controversial form of digital activism. Supporters believe that applying advertising principles such as A/B testing increases the impact of a message by leveraging the Internet to further its reach. Opponents believe that clicktivism reduces activism to a mere mouse-click, yielding numbers with little or no real engagement or commitment to the cause (Janssen 2010 pg. 1).

By using social media, clicktivism has turned activism into a highly disseminated nature. Social media allowed activism to access the global market instantly and therefore accelerated support for grassroots campaigns displaying clicktivism’s true power. Opponents of clicktivism have criticised the apparently lack of cohesion, the lack of a clear goal and the legitimacy of online campaigns and have thus dubbed clicktivism as ‘slacktivism’ believing that online activism is “virtual” protesting. Their criticism is met with rebuttal from clicktivism supports that state that online petitioning has allowed for a more connected, global and interactive experience.

The divided opinion cause great debate especially in regards to how effective online activism is. Kony 2012, Bring Back our Girls, Kickstarter campaigns and the Arab Spring are all examples of different cases where online activism is either criticised or praised.

To conclude the question is whether online activism or clicktivism actually causes physical change or does the online nature just raises awareness?

This Prezi goes into further detail about the Activism, Clicktivism and Slacktivism debate.

Reference List:

Janssen C. ‘Technopedia explains Clicktivism’, Technopedia, accessed 2nd June 2015,

Morozov, E 2011, Facebook and Twitter are just places revolutionaries go,The Guardian, Posted 8th March, accessed 23rd September 2015,

Popova, M 2010, Malcolm Gladwell Is #Wrong, Change Observer, posted 10th June 2010, accessed 23rd September 2015,


One thought on “Social Network Revolutions – Activism, Clicktivism or Slacktivism?

  1. Pingback: Hacktivism and Anonymous | A Collection of Thoughts

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