Slacktivism: Not Simply a Means to an End, but a Legitimate Form of Civic Participation

  • Chantal Piat

Abstract

This paper explores the many forms of online activism, also known as “slacktivism,” such as making small charitable donations, changing a social media profile picture, and using technological knowledge to hack websites.  The effectiveness of slacktivism is investigated based on prior research in the field, as the nuances of activism, politics, and effectiveness itself are deconstructed.  An argument is posed that any form of activism, whether it is performed online or offline, is valuable and legitimate regardless of its size or reach. It is known that small online acts of participation are strongly correlated with grander offline acts of participation. While it is important to acknowledge the value of offline activism such as participating in a protest or boycott, acts of slacktivism also have an inherent value in and of themselves.  Slacktivism should not be written off as an ineffective “feel-good” tool that young people utilize, but rather as a legitimate form of social and political action.

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Articles