Activism? Clicktivism? Slacktivism?
In our changing world where developments are occurring rapidly technologically, it comes as no surprise that activism has chosen to go online. This movement is known as clicktivism and it is when organistions or groups use social media to amplify their message in order to bridge gaps between communities that would not normally have access to the information. In particular it can be used to encourage the younger generation to step up and be involved in advocacy and decision making as it speaks on a platform they are comfortable with.
There is the potential however for clicktivism to gain the exposure it needs but then spiral downwards very quickly as in the case of Kony 2012. When the 30 minute video was released, it became a Facebook phenomena with nearly 76m views. However what was the response? It did not encourage actual action and therefore, no significant response was received. According to Henry Jenkins’ article he argued that youth were swayed by emotional output and not actual information.
The movement was incredibly successful in developing spreadability whereby the message is distributed effectively and efficiently and receives a large number of participants. But for online activism to be successful it must demonstrate drilability where members in the organisation are aware of the issues, the results they want to see happen and the action they must take. This was not demonstrated in the Kony movement and therefore it fizzled out. In an article by Mary Butler (pg 4), she raised the question: “Is the 21st Century the age of the dispassionate activist?” In the case of Kony 2012, it was not that those exposed to the information were dis-passionate, it’s that the action to take was unclear, far spread and unorganised.
Therefore for clicktivism to be successful members must feel a sense of community and involvement, they must be aware of the issues at hand, but most importantly they must feel passionate and led enough to take the needed action.
Huffington Post 2014, ‘The Grey are of Clicktivism’, Flaim J, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/javier-flaim/the-grey-area-of-clicktiv_b_4344303.html (Accessed 16th of May 2014)
Indie Wire 2012, ‘Five reasons the internet is blowing up over the “Kony 2012” clicktivism sensation’, Renninger B. J., http://www.indiewire.com/article/five-reasons-the-internet-is-blowing-up-over-the-kony-2012-clicktivism-sensation (Accessed 16th of May 2014)
Clicktivist 2012, ‘Clitivism breakdown: What Kony 2012 says about clicktivism’, http://www.clicktivist.org/2012/03/clicktivism-breakdown-what-kony-2012-says-about-clicktivism/ (Accessed 16th of May 2014)