Introduction Every day, the internet provides ample space for online petitions, causes and social campaigns. Thus, online social activism is gaining ground. Sociologists wonder whether slacktivism, as it is called, really represents a force or gains so much ground just because it only involves minimal involvement.What is Slacktivism? Slacktivism is a words combination of slacker and activism, that’s mean: actions performed via the internet in support of a political or social cause but regarded as requiring little time or involvement, e.
g. signing an online petition or joining a campaign group on a social media website or application. The United Nations has defined slacktivism as when people support a cause by performing simple measures but are not truly engaged or devoted to making a change. Slacktivism was born after the creation of social media and is often synonymous with viral movements. Since it is low-cost, low-risk and noncommittal, slacktivism makes engagement easy for the public. In real world, offline, slacktivism can be provided like: wearing a ribbon on shirt or a specific color on a certain day in support of a cause.
While Slacktivism has its place, it’s not exactly an action that can make big changes in the world. A University of British Columbia study showed that when consumers gave public support, they were no more likely to provide more meaningful support for the cause than if someone was just randomly asked for the larger request. What is Activism? The history of the word activism traces back to earlier understandings of collective behavior and social actions. At late as 1969 activism was defined as the policy or practice of doing things with decision and energy, without regard to a political signification, whereas social action was defined as organized action taken by a group to improve social conditions, without regard to normative status. The history of the existence of revolt through organized or unified protest in recorded history dated back to the slave revolts of the 1st century BC (E) in the Roman Empire, where under the leadership of former gladiator Spartacus 6,000 slaves rebelled and was crucified from Capua to Rome in what became known as the Third Servile War. Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, direct, or intervene in social, political, economic, or environmental reform with the desire to make changes in society. Forms of activism range from writing letters to newspaper, petitioning elected officials, running or contributing to a political campaign, preferential patronage (or boycott) of business, and demonstrative forms of activism like rallies, street marches, strikes, sit-ins, or hunger strikes. Activism can be performed on a day-to-day basis in a wide variety of ways, including through the creation of art (artivism), computer hacking (hacktivism), or simple in how one chooses to spend their money (economic activism). For the bigger impact, there is a way of activism that comes in the form of collective action (which numerous individuals coordinate together an act of protest). Slacktivism or Activism? Historically, activists have used literature, including pamphlets, tracts, and books to disseminate their messages and attempt to persuade their readers of the justice of their cause. Research has now begun to explore how contemporary activist groups use social media to facilitate civic engagement and collective action combining politics with technology. The emergence of social media has greatly influenced 21st-century activism. It has also given rise to the birth of slacktivism, an online form of self-aggrandizing, politically ineffective activism. In 1970, Gil Scott-Heron wrote the song The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, where he singed You will not be able to stay home, brother/You will not be able to plug in, turn on and drop out/You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip/Skip out for beer during commercials/ Because the revolution will not be televised. Scott-Heron thought that social progress occurred in the streets but not on the couch. After years, the appearance of social media changed some points. In 2009, conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan saw that social media has a central role in fostering social change, that’s why he said that The revolution will be Twittered. Slacktivism is criticized because, although no study has confirmed it, these activities replace actual activism, instead of completing it. Also, critics believe that its actions have no real impact and that slacktivists are not really motivated to make changes. Despite these criticisms, a recent study by Georgetown University, conclude that slacktivists are involved in social action more than they suspected. Thus, couch protesters participate in twice as many activities as those who do not fall into this category, and their actions have a greater potential to influence others. I think that both of actions have their impact on society, but it still depend on countries and how they are developed. And here I can give an example. Swati Nair, in his book Slacktivism vs. Activism: Social Media Campaigns In India, it’s said: Although the Internet revolution in India may take a while to match up to the ones happening in the world, that scale is not far-fetched. Not considering a good social media marketing strategy for causes online may diminish the online presence of a cause which is a dangerous prospect. All causes must have visibility and there must be enough potential for people to act upon them, on social media. There are several causes that already have the advantage of having a large presence on the Internet. If other causes pertaining to India and specifically to India’s social-political issues are not created on the social media space, we might be losing out on a huge chunk of awareness quotient that the world will have about the country. There is also the risk of social media imperialism with only a few countries and their causes being advocated online with the rest of the world remaining barely visible on social media space. In my both country, Republic of Moldova or how I called it – outside of coverage area, has a bad political situation and because of the oligarchy’s power, the right to the truth is violated. Each TV Channel presents different news; therefore, the population is confused and lying. Slacktivism is poorly developed and used. In terms of activism, people trying to change the situation in the country through protests. Unfortunately, after a large number of collective actions (2016-2018), involving about ten thousand people participated, the protests resulted in the arrest of several protestors, and that’s all: nothing was changed in governance. Nikolai Mather believes that the Internet has revolutionized the concept of activism. And also he said: It allows us to access different movements from halfway across the globe, I wouldn’t know about what was happening with [many movements] if I wasn’t able to access them via Twitter and posts on the Internet. I think that slacktivism still means activism. That’s why, I think also that every man can be an activist, because as long as you can find your personal values align with those of a cause, is no matter if it’s online or in real life. Real activists know that causes cannot be served just by likes, and they are drawn to philanthropy that involves strategic planning, education and reflection.ExamplesSlacktivism in action: In just five days after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, in 2010, the Red Cross raised $ 20 million from donations through sms. In the peak period, 10,000 messages per second were sent to help victims of the disaster. In six days, at the beginning of 2012, the YouTube video about Joseph Kony was viewed 112 million times and distributed to millions of people. The atrocities presented have prompted public opinion revolt and have been subject to a number of articles distributed over the Internet. The result: an unprecedented mobilization of force: 100 UN advisers and 5,000 African Union troops.There are some Hashtag activisms that really worked and which changed the world for the better: #DressLikeAWomanAfter a report that alleged President Trump asked his staff to dress like woman, the internet delivered a scything dressing down. #StopFundingHateThis UK grassroots activism campaign began to take action against the anti-migrant position of many British newspapers. Since its inception just over a year ago, it’s gone viral several times over – and won some big victories in the process. #BlackLivesMatterWith its origins in one heartfelt Facebook post, following the 2012 shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon martin, this hashtag has spawned a civil rights movement that will change the face of the United States. There are now more than 26 Black Lives Matter chapters across the US. #YouAintNoMuslimBruvIn the weeks before Christmas 2015, a man with paranoid schizophrenia cut the throat of a stranger at a London tube station. He was given a life sentence in a high-security psychiatric institution, after a judge found him to be motivated by Islamic extremism.But before Islamophobia gripped the papers, a young man from London beat them to the punch. You ain’t no Muslim, bruv!’ was the perfect riposte ” delivered at the scene just as the culprit was arrested by a Muslim policeman. #BringBackOurGirlsIn April 2014, 276 schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram in the northern Nigerian village of Chibok, in an act that outraged the world. The hashtag was first used on April 23, in Nigeria.In less than three weeks, the hashtag had been used more than a million times worldwide, with supermodel Cara Delevingne and Michelle Obama adding their high-profiles selfies to the mounting social media movement. #HeForSheWe all know that gender equality affects everyone and that feminism isn’t just for women. Emma Watson and Justin Trudeau backed UN Woman campaign He For She, seeks to actively involve men and boys in a struggle that had previously been thought of as a woman’s thing.Among the leading countries in the world for pledges and commitments to join the cause, are Rwanda, the United States of America, Mexico, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the UK. I think an activism that will be forever in trend is feminism. Feminism movements have campaigned and continue to campaign for women’s rights, including the right to vote, to hold public office, to work, to earn fair wages or equal pay, to own property, to receive education, to enter contracts, to have equal rights within marriage, and to have maternity leave. Feminists have also worked to ensure access to legal abortions and social integration, and to protect women and girls from rape, sexual harassment, and domestic violence. Before my conclusion I want to say about three activist women that are examples for me:‚§ Simone de Beauvoir-an outspoken political activist, writer and social theorist, in 1949 de Beauvoir wrote The Second Sex, an ahead-of-its-time book credited with paving the way for modern feminism. In the influential (and at the time, extremely controversial) book, de Beauvoir critiques the patriarchy and social constructs faced by women. ‘The Second Sex was banned by The Vatican and even deemed pornography by some ” a fearless start to the fight for feminism. ‚§ Angelina Jolie-Aside from her extensive work as a UN diplomat, actress and philanthropist, in 2013, when Angelina Jolie chose to share her double-mastectomy story, she changed the face of breast cancer awareness. In a personal essay, Jolie revealed how the health decision empowered her as a woman while encouraging other women to come forward with their own breast cancer stories. ‚§ Malala Yousafzai- is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate. She is known for human rights advocacy, especially the education of women and children in her native Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where the local Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. Her advocacy has grown into an international movement, and according to former Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, she had become the most prominent citizen of the country. Conclusion In my conclusion, I would like to say that slacktivism and activism should work together, because they can offer us a possibility to say our point of view, to do charity and to feel useful. Some sociologists believe that activists are honest supporters of the actions they promote, whether they are visible or they act behind a computer. In the absence of concrete studies, it is not possible to determinate what percentage of slacktivism is limited just to one click, or whether this behavior is caused by the lack of information to turn them into active participants. But history has certainly demonstrated that online social activism can be effective. And this is only the beginning.