Slacktivism” can be defined as social media’s useless state in relation to serious activism.

Malcolm Gladwell has coined this definition/argument via his stance against the use of social media as a tool to partake in all kinds of activism. His belief is that the social web is made up of “weak ties” between people, whereas activism is driven by “strong ties”. He also believes that activism needs some sort of hierarchy and centralised hub in order to be a highly functioning and influential organisation of people.

However, “slacktivism” is essentially a word used to squash individual’s interaction with movements on social media by labeling it as lazy.

Why can’t we participate in the voicing of our beliefs on social media by “merely” signing an online petition, or retweeting a protest location, or liking a page on Facebook which holds details about an issue that interests/concerns us?

This online community is what makes activism so easy and within today’s society, especially with movements such as the YES equality campaign.



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4 thoughts on ““SLACTIVISM”

  1. alexfordyce says:

    I saw the term ‘slacktivism’ come up when I was reading articles about hacktivism, but didn’t really give it a second thought and didn’t know what it meant. Your blog explains it perfectly! I agree with Gladwell, because I’ve always wondered about online petitions and if anything actually happens with them after people sign it. Check out this article: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/04/unicef-tells-slacktivists-give-money-not-facebook-likes/275429/ – it basically says that people should speak with their actions rather than give out ‘likes’ on Facebook so that change actually happens.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. daisyblair97 says:

    I agree that social media has made it easier for people to actively participate in raising awareness of issues in todays society, and the example of the marriage equality campaigns you used, is a great example!
    However I also kind of agree that its a little lazy. I’m not saying that spreading the word or signing a petition won’t do anything, but obviously theres so much more than social media posting that we can do to raise awareness about current social and politic issues!

    Thats what ties all of this to ‘hacktivism’. In a way hacktivists are going that one step further with social media and the internet to exploit these social issues.

    Do you agree with Gladwell that social media shouldn’t be used as a tool for activism?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. katevictoriablog says:

    Bro that link in the above comment has some savage anti-slactivist campaigning. Get ’em UNICEF. Actually that link talks about how the people doing all the lazy liking are not the kiddies who were gonna be involved in the first place anyways. Now you just get to show your ideological lean more publically, even if you aint gonna do anything. As someone who is pretty high key involved in grassroots greenie activism I can tell you its a major b*tch when you’re trying to organise events and that and all you get are likes. But at the same time, often the people who will just randomly show up you will have never noticed getting involved in the online bantery! And that is great.

    But at the same time, there are plenty of campaigns where the *point* is -awareness- over physical or political action. Hmm.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. isobelpage says:

    I really liked the way you described and explained ‘slacktivism’ as it gave a simple definition that i didn’t previously know about. Furthermore, the idea of activism online and the changing use of the web is highlighted throughout your blog and the way your convey the overall idea. Perhaps you could go into further detail about slacktivism, but otherwise a really good job!

    Liked by 1 person

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