Clicktivism, or Slactivism, is known as “the use of social media and other online methods to promote a cause.” (clicktivist,2011)
The rise of social media, allows very simple ways to support an organisation or cause. The ‘click’ of a button- to like, share and comment on causes, contributes to online activism. But Clicktivism in not just support and promoting the cause online, it is the use of social and digital media for initiating social change and activism.
We are all participate in this; if it is liking a sick puppy campaign or stop the whaleing. We see something that triggers us emotionally and we try to help by giving them support, thinking that this like and share will stop this problem.
Clicktivism includes a range of activities (clicktivist, 2011), including:
- organizing protests
- facilitating boycotts
- signing petitions
- online parody and satire
- Google bombing
- circumventing news blackouts/keeping people informed
The debate rises on Slactivism vs Activism- is Clictivism actually helping political change?
There have been many political campaigns run through social media throughout the years. The most potent, for me, is Kony 2012.
#Kony2012 was a number one topic of conversation on Twitter, and was shared multiple times on Facebook by concerned citizens and celebrities alike. (Dailey, 2012) A 29 minute video hit social media sites and was made a viral campaign for Invisible Children. People from all over the world supported Kony 2012 in hope to stop him.
“For many, the idea that sending tweets and sharing videos on Facebook can solve an international conflict that has stymied world governments is farcical.” (Dailey, 2012) As Clicktivist, we believed that we were helping the cause; the belief that online activism can change the course of international politics. The campaign was successful in making the public aware of this issue; if you didnt know about Kony then you must have been living in a cave. Though there was a great backlash against Invisible Children and the Ugandan people were “furious that their country was depicted as being war torn, when, in fact, Kony and the LRA no longer operate there”
A more recent social media campaign is ‘Bring back our girls‘. This campaign has swept the world in attempt to reunite 200 Nigerian girls with their families. “There has been an unprecedented outpouring of support online and on the streets of many countries. Presidents, First Ladies, Prime Ministers, religious leaders and statesmen continue to lend their voices and their placards to the campaign.” (Uvie-Emegbo, 2014)
The support and social awareness is overwhelming, it takes one step at a time. But how long can we demand these girls back for? And is this campaign really enough to strike political change?
clicktivist 2011, What is clicktivism, clicktivism.org, viewed 10/5/14 < http://www.clicktivist.org/2011/12/what-is-clicktivism/ >
Dailey, 2012, ‘Kony 2012: The rise of online campaigning’, BBC News, 9th March, viewed 10/5/14, < http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-17306118 >
Uvie-Emegbo 2014, #BringBackOurGirls and lessons from #Kony2012, Punch, viewed 10/5/14, < http://www.punchng.com/i-punch/bringbackourgirls-and-lessons-from-kony2012/ >