What is ‘Clicktivism’ and is it having a detrimental effect on advocacy and activist campaigns?
Participation in digital campaigns has grown significantly as six million people have started using digital petitions on change.org. In addition to change.org 38 Degrees a web-based activist organisation founded in memory of the late campaigner Anita Roddick, has 3 million members.
Clicktivism is referred to a form of digital activism, it includes promoting causes through social media, petitions donations, many activists have taken advantage of social media, blogs and videos to promote social change, for example, organising protests in Egypt, circa 2011. However, clicktivism is often referred to slacktivism, in reference to the lack of engagement of those involved. Morozov believed that slacktivism activities only serve for a feel good factor of the participants, and creates the illusion of having a meaningful impact. For example, joining a Facebook group or passing on a petition to a group of contacts.
However, I believe clicktivism is a very positive feature of activism and is definitely needed in when activists want social change, for example, when a mum fought for transport costs for her special needs son to be reinstated, the campaign received 7,500 signatures and many local TV outlets wanted to interview the parent.
Through the use of clicktivism, 5m people in the UK use Change.org to start, join and win campaigns on issues they care about – joining a global user base of almost 70m making real change every day.
The 21st century could be the best period time activist/campaigner in the 21st Century as tools are everywhere and the best part is that they are free too!