Clicktivism or Craptivism?

Clicktivism, also known as Slacktivism, has grown exponentially over the last few years in particular, with online campaigns such as Kony 2012 (Jenkins, 2012) and the Occupy Movement and whether you like it or not, it seems like it’s here to stay.

The internet, with use of social media and other tools such as my technology of study iOS is a perfect tool to communicate with people en mass, and this is why we now have a Clicktivism culture where you can show your support for a cause by simply liking a page, changing your profile picture or simply tweeting with a hashtag (#tag)

One example of this is the marriage equality moment, a movement which already has a high level or awareness and support. In this case, the Human Rights Campaign started a program where they asked members of the public to change their profile pictures to a red equals-sign to signify equal marriage rights.

Many charities on social media however don’t find this ‘people power’ of matching profile pictures or likes all that useful, after all – someone liking a Facebook page wont help get reliable clean water to third world nations, only money will. This is often seen as a downside of Clicktivism. Many of us are happy to say publicly that we support a cause, but when it comes down to it not many of us actually donate time or money to said cause.

This being the case, organisations like UNICEF in Sweden have actually tried to attack this Clicktivism trend and as shown in the above segment from ‘The Feed’, have released a series of television commercials asking people to donate rather than just like the UNICEF page.

In this age of online activism, charity organisations in particular face new challenges in getting donations and actual hands on help. They might have a heightened advertising power thanks to followers on their social network sites, but it’s unsure how engaged these users are, and it means non-for-profit organisations need to work harder than ever to convince those who have already publicly shown support to actually contribute time, money or both.


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