Slacktivism- defined by dictionary.com as the public proclaiming of one’s political beliefs through activities that require little effort or commitment. This lack of effort is being put to use on social media sites such as twitter, facebook and protest websites. Is this political method effective? How much effort defines little effort or commitment? What are the motives of organizations and businesses that encourage slacktivism?  How does it influence policy makers? We would like to go more into depth with these questions and more. Slacktivism leads to a lower level of participation online- the user simply has to click “like” and instantly feels better about themselves because they support.

However, there is no evidence that online participation replaces off-line activism or reinforces it. The most that slacktivism does is raise awareness about a cause or issue. Unfortunately, slacktivism for breast cancer in last October, engaged females on facebook in a campaign for breast cancer by stating their bra color in 2009 and in 2010 my friends and I received messages that said:

“This year’s game has to do with your handbag/purse, where we put our handbag the moment we get home; for example “I like it on the couch”, “I like it on the kitchen counter”, “I like it on the dresser”. Well u get the idea. Just put your answer as your status (i.e. don’t respond to this message, but put it on your status) – and cut n paste this message and forward to all your FB female friends to their inbox. The bra game made it to the news. Let’s get the purse in as well and see how powerful we women really are!!!”

Stating where we place our handbags has nothing to do with breast cancer and did little action about this disease other than taking the focus off breast cancer and its awareness. What is the point of slacktivism other than making yourself feel good about “liking” a cause?

Links:

Facebook ‘Slactivism’ is not enough for Breast Cancer Awareness

Political Activitites on the Internet: Slactivism or Political Participation By Other Means?

Why Iran’s Green Movement Faltered: The Limits of Information Technology in a Rentier State

The Case Against Mass E-mails: Perverse Incentives and Low Quality Public Participation in U.S. Federal Rulemaking