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Clicktivism
Why Every Click Counts
Photo:	
  Caden	
  Crawford,	
  
By: Rob Leckie	
  
Everyone’s a Critic
	
  
Critics argue that
clicktivism fails to
generate substantive
change, and prevents
more meaningful social
action by creating the
illusion of doing
something, while doing
almost nothing.
(Kielburger and Kielburger 2015)
…but these critics misunderstand what clicktivism is
Photo:	
  Marcie	
  Casas,	
  Flickr	
  	
  
“Clicktivism is not exclusively the support
or promotion of a cause online. It is the use of digital media
for facilitating social change and activism. More often than
not this takes the form of supporting and promoting a cause
on social media, but it can include a whole a range of
activities...”
-Clicktivist.org
(Sharma 2014)
Photo:	
  LaVladina,	
  Flickr	
  
Clicktivism is excellent
at generating awareness
(which is intrinsically valuable)
(Buckman, 2014)
Photo:	
  Zoi	
  Koraki,	
  Flickr	
  
“Despite the oft-repeated claim that awareness does nothing,
it almost always does something —
something small, perhaps, but something measurable.”
-Kaitlin Dewey, Washington Post
(Sharma 2014)
ClicktivismWorks!
Clicktivism
Works!
Photo:	
  Kheel	
  Center	
  (photographer	
  
unknown),	
  Flickr	
  
“Often whatever social change these movements are pushing for doesn't
happen for years or decades, but that doesn't mean that they didn't
make a difference.
If we think of social movements as engines for creating awareness that
can eventually help them push for that change in the form of legislation,
then raising awareness is important.”
-Sandra Gonzalez-Bailo
(Kolowich 2016, A4)
The clicktivism and resultant awareness created by the
#BlackLivesMatter campaign has led to significant shifts in
government policy and police procedure:
50,000police body cameras
Police – Community Trust-Building Task Forces
Death in Custody Reporting Act
Requires law enforcement officials to report deaths of
people killed during arrest or in police custody
Phil	
  Roeder	
  
Photo:	
  Phil	
  Roeder,	
  Flickr	
  
The #BringBackOurGirls
campaign is often cited as
an example of failed
clicktivism
…but the awareness
brought to the cause has
been instrumental in
spurring the admittedly
small search for the
Chibok girls
(Buckman 2014)
Photo:	
  Xavier	
  J.	
  Peg,	
  Flickr	
  
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
A Resounding Example of the Power of Clicktivism
$15.6 million
raised from July 29 to August 18
(Sharma 2014)
800% increase in funding Y.O.Y.
(Sharma 2014)
Photo:	
  UK	
  Department	
  for	
  InternaIonal	
  
Development	
  ,	
  Flickr	
  
UNICEF Tap Project
15 Minutes of ‘Digital Detox’
1 day’s supply of clean drinking water for a child
(Stern 2015)
2014: 2.6 million participants and $1 million generated
Photo:	
  Donna	
  Todd	
  ,	
  Flickr	
  
UNICEF Kid Power
Monitored Physical Activity
Funding for treatment for malnourished children
(Stern 2014)
Photo:	
  R.	
  Nial	
  Bradshaw,	
  Flickr	
  
So What’s The Point?
Clicktivism is capable of generating social good by
creating awareness and pressuring elected officials, even when
activism does not make the jump from online to offline
Photo:	
  Lucja	
  O’Neill,	
  Flickr	
  
So What’s The Point?
“People who protest by casually ‘liking’ or retweeting political
content online do have an impact…”
“…modern protests have a minority who are physically active
and a much larger group – dubbed ‘the critical periphery’ -
who may tweet about it only once or twice but are responsible
for doubling the protest’s reach.”
-UPenn and NYU study (All Mortimer 2015)
Photo:	
  Gato-­‐Gato-­‐Gato,	
  Flickr	
  
“Social media presence can give visibility to unknown facts,
having an impact on policy-makers agenda setting, by making
invisible people more visible.”
(Bresciani and Schmeil 2012, n.p.)
Clicktivism is also a more accessible form of activism for
those who cannot leave home. This group may include the
elderly, caretakers, those with disabilities, or those with young
children.
(Khan-Ibarra 2014)
This inclusiveness means that
clicktivism is capable of
representing more diverse
voices.
(Khan-Ibarra 2014)
Photo:	
  Grey	
  World,	
  Flickr	
  
Critics argue that clicktivism displaces offline activism. But in
reality, clicktivism often precipitates offline activism.
‘…those who support
movements online are
actually more likely to
engage in activism in
real life.”
(Groetzinger	
  2015)	
  
Photo:	
  a2gemma,	
  Flickr	
  
Thus, social media, and clicktivism in particular, is likely to
provide a new first rung on the engagement ladder
(Matrix 2016)
Photo:	
  Lin	
  Wu,	
  Flickr	
  
Unfortunately, clicktivism, as a mode of participation,
has been largely marginalized
(Halupka 2014, 118
Photo:	
  cactusbeetroot,	
  Flick
“There is no hope of encouraging stakeholders to take deeper
actions unless they feel that their initial current level of
activism is appreciated and important.”
(Matrix 2016)
When we use pejoratives such as ‘slacktivism’ to describe online activism,
we disenfranchise prospective activists and tip the engagement ladder
before these participants have a chance to climb to higher levels of
engagement.
Photo:	
  INTVGene,	
  Flickr	
  
We
must
stop
vilifying
clicktivism
Ultimately, every little bit of
activism adds up
(Matrix 2016)
Photo:	
  Sean	
  McEntee,	
  Flickr	
  
“Any effort to amplify the effort of a
worthwhile cause online has impact.”
(Matrix 2016)
Photo:	
  Thomas	
  Angermann,	
  Flickr	
  
Citations
Andresen,	
  Katya.	
  2011.	
  “Why	
  Slacktavism	
  is	
  Underrated.”	
  Mashable,	
  October	
  24.	
  
	
  	
  
Bresciani,	
  Sabrina,	
  and	
  A.	
  Schmeil.	
  2012.	
  “Social	
  Media	
  Pla`orms	
  for	
  Social	
  Good.”	
  6th	
  IEEE
	
  Interna/onal	
  Conference	
  on	
  Digital	
  Ecosystems	
  and	
  Technologies	
  (DEST):1-­‐6.	
  
	
  	
  
Brewster,	
  Shaquille.	
  2014.	
  “Aber	
  Ferguson:	
  Is	
  'Hashtag	
  AcIvism'	
  Spurring	
  Policy	
  Changes?”	
  NBC	
  
	
  News,	
  December	
  12.	
  
	
  	
  
Buckman,	
  Celia.	
  2014.	
  “The	
  Limits	
  of	
  Hashtag	
  AcIvism.”	
  Huffington	
  Post,	
  September	
  12.	
  
	
  	
  
Groetzinger,	
  Kate.	
  2015.	
  “SlackIvism	
  is	
  Having	
  a	
  Powerful	
  Real-­‐World	
  Impact,	
  New	
  Research	
  
	
  Shows.”	
  Quartz,	
  December	
  10.	
  
	
  	
  
Halupka,	
  Max.	
  2014.	
  “ClickIvism:	
  A	
  SystemaIc	
  HeurisIc.”	
  Policy	
  &	
  Internet	
  6	
  (2):	
  115-­‐132.	
  
	
  	
  
Khan-­‐Ibarra,	
  Sabina.	
  2014.	
  “The	
  Case	
  for	
  Social	
  Media	
  and	
  Hashtag	
  AcIvism.”	
  Huffington	
  Post,	
  
	
  November	
  13.	
  
	
  	
  
	
  	
  
Citations
Continued
Kielburger,	
  Craig,	
  and	
  Marc	
  Kielburger.	
  2015.	
  “A	
  Click	
  Is	
  Not	
  Enough	
  to	
  Have	
  Impact	
  on	
  the	
  
	
  World.”	
  Canoe,	
  April	
  10.	
  
	
  
Kolowich,	
  Steve.	
  (2016).	
  “In	
  Modest	
  Defense	
  of	
  'SlackIvism'”.	
  The	
  Chronicle	
  of	
  Higher	
  Educa/on	
  
	
  62(18):	
  A14.	
  
	
  	
  
Matrix,	
  Sydney	
  Eve.	
  2016.	
  “Module	
  4:	
  Social	
  Good”.	
  Lecture	
  presented	
  for	
  FILM	
  260,	
  May	
  30.	
  
	
  	
  
MorImer,	
  Caroline.	
  2015.	
  “'SlackIvism'	
  Works:	
  Study	
  Shows	
  People	
  Who	
  Like	
  and	
  Retweet	
  
	
  PoliIcal	
  Slogans	
  Help	
  Protesters	
  Spread	
  Their	
  Message.”	
  Independent,	
  December	
  8.	
  
	
  
Sharma,	
  Ritu.	
  2014.	
  “Stop	
  Puring	
  Ice	
  on	
  ClickIvism.”	
  Huffington	
  Post,	
  August	
  20.	
  
	
  	
  
Stern,	
  Carole.	
  2015.	
  “In	
  Praise	
  of	
  ClickIvism.”	
  Huffington	
  Post,	
  March	
  31.	
  	
  

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Rob Leckie Flip Book

  • 1. Clicktivism Why Every Click Counts Photo:  Caden  Crawford,   By: Rob Leckie  
  • 2. Everyone’s a Critic   Critics argue that clicktivism fails to generate substantive change, and prevents more meaningful social action by creating the illusion of doing something, while doing almost nothing. (Kielburger and Kielburger 2015) …but these critics misunderstand what clicktivism is Photo:  Marcie  Casas,  Flickr    
  • 3. “Clicktivism is not exclusively the support or promotion of a cause online. It is the use of digital media for facilitating social change and activism. More often than not this takes the form of supporting and promoting a cause on social media, but it can include a whole a range of activities...” -Clicktivist.org (Sharma 2014) Photo:  LaVladina,  Flickr  
  • 4. Clicktivism is excellent at generating awareness (which is intrinsically valuable) (Buckman, 2014) Photo:  Zoi  Koraki,  Flickr  
  • 5. “Despite the oft-repeated claim that awareness does nothing, it almost always does something — something small, perhaps, but something measurable.” -Kaitlin Dewey, Washington Post (Sharma 2014) ClicktivismWorks! Clicktivism Works! Photo:  Kheel  Center  (photographer   unknown),  Flickr  
  • 6. “Often whatever social change these movements are pushing for doesn't happen for years or decades, but that doesn't mean that they didn't make a difference. If we think of social movements as engines for creating awareness that can eventually help them push for that change in the form of legislation, then raising awareness is important.” -Sandra Gonzalez-Bailo (Kolowich 2016, A4)
  • 7. The clicktivism and resultant awareness created by the #BlackLivesMatter campaign has led to significant shifts in government policy and police procedure: 50,000police body cameras Police – Community Trust-Building Task Forces Death in Custody Reporting Act Requires law enforcement officials to report deaths of people killed during arrest or in police custody Phil  Roeder   Photo:  Phil  Roeder,  Flickr  
  • 8. The #BringBackOurGirls campaign is often cited as an example of failed clicktivism …but the awareness brought to the cause has been instrumental in spurring the admittedly small search for the Chibok girls (Buckman 2014) Photo:  Xavier  J.  Peg,  Flickr  
  • 9. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge A Resounding Example of the Power of Clicktivism $15.6 million raised from July 29 to August 18 (Sharma 2014) 800% increase in funding Y.O.Y. (Sharma 2014) Photo:  UK  Department  for  InternaIonal   Development  ,  Flickr  
  • 10. UNICEF Tap Project 15 Minutes of ‘Digital Detox’ 1 day’s supply of clean drinking water for a child (Stern 2015) 2014: 2.6 million participants and $1 million generated Photo:  Donna  Todd  ,  Flickr  
  • 11. UNICEF Kid Power Monitored Physical Activity Funding for treatment for malnourished children (Stern 2014) Photo:  R.  Nial  Bradshaw,  Flickr  
  • 12. So What’s The Point? Clicktivism is capable of generating social good by creating awareness and pressuring elected officials, even when activism does not make the jump from online to offline Photo:  Lucja  O’Neill,  Flickr  
  • 13. So What’s The Point? “People who protest by casually ‘liking’ or retweeting political content online do have an impact…” “…modern protests have a minority who are physically active and a much larger group – dubbed ‘the critical periphery’ - who may tweet about it only once or twice but are responsible for doubling the protest’s reach.” -UPenn and NYU study (All Mortimer 2015) Photo:  Gato-­‐Gato-­‐Gato,  Flickr  
  • 14. “Social media presence can give visibility to unknown facts, having an impact on policy-makers agenda setting, by making invisible people more visible.” (Bresciani and Schmeil 2012, n.p.)
  • 15. Clicktivism is also a more accessible form of activism for those who cannot leave home. This group may include the elderly, caretakers, those with disabilities, or those with young children. (Khan-Ibarra 2014) This inclusiveness means that clicktivism is capable of representing more diverse voices. (Khan-Ibarra 2014) Photo:  Grey  World,  Flickr  
  • 16. Critics argue that clicktivism displaces offline activism. But in reality, clicktivism often precipitates offline activism. ‘…those who support movements online are actually more likely to engage in activism in real life.” (Groetzinger  2015)   Photo:  a2gemma,  Flickr  
  • 17. Thus, social media, and clicktivism in particular, is likely to provide a new first rung on the engagement ladder (Matrix 2016) Photo:  Lin  Wu,  Flickr  
  • 18. Unfortunately, clicktivism, as a mode of participation, has been largely marginalized (Halupka 2014, 118 Photo:  cactusbeetroot,  Flick
  • 19. “There is no hope of encouraging stakeholders to take deeper actions unless they feel that their initial current level of activism is appreciated and important.” (Matrix 2016) When we use pejoratives such as ‘slacktivism’ to describe online activism, we disenfranchise prospective activists and tip the engagement ladder before these participants have a chance to climb to higher levels of engagement. Photo:  INTVGene,  Flickr  
  • 21. Ultimately, every little bit of activism adds up (Matrix 2016) Photo:  Sean  McEntee,  Flickr  
  • 22. “Any effort to amplify the effort of a worthwhile cause online has impact.” (Matrix 2016) Photo:  Thomas  Angermann,  Flickr  
  • 23. Citations Andresen,  Katya.  2011.  “Why  Slacktavism  is  Underrated.”  Mashable,  October  24.       Bresciani,  Sabrina,  and  A.  Schmeil.  2012.  “Social  Media  Pla`orms  for  Social  Good.”  6th  IEEE  Interna/onal  Conference  on  Digital  Ecosystems  and  Technologies  (DEST):1-­‐6.       Brewster,  Shaquille.  2014.  “Aber  Ferguson:  Is  'Hashtag  AcIvism'  Spurring  Policy  Changes?”  NBC    News,  December  12.       Buckman,  Celia.  2014.  “The  Limits  of  Hashtag  AcIvism.”  Huffington  Post,  September  12.       Groetzinger,  Kate.  2015.  “SlackIvism  is  Having  a  Powerful  Real-­‐World  Impact,  New  Research    Shows.”  Quartz,  December  10.       Halupka,  Max.  2014.  “ClickIvism:  A  SystemaIc  HeurisIc.”  Policy  &  Internet  6  (2):  115-­‐132.       Khan-­‐Ibarra,  Sabina.  2014.  “The  Case  for  Social  Media  and  Hashtag  AcIvism.”  Huffington  Post,    November  13.          
  • 24. Citations Continued Kielburger,  Craig,  and  Marc  Kielburger.  2015.  “A  Click  Is  Not  Enough  to  Have  Impact  on  the    World.”  Canoe,  April  10.     Kolowich,  Steve.  (2016).  “In  Modest  Defense  of  'SlackIvism'”.  The  Chronicle  of  Higher  Educa/on    62(18):  A14.       Matrix,  Sydney  Eve.  2016.  “Module  4:  Social  Good”.  Lecture  presented  for  FILM  260,  May  30.       MorImer,  Caroline.  2015.  “'SlackIvism'  Works:  Study  Shows  People  Who  Like  and  Retweet    PoliIcal  Slogans  Help  Protesters  Spread  Their  Message.”  Independent,  December  8.     Sharma,  Ritu.  2014.  “Stop  Puring  Ice  on  ClickIvism.”  Huffington  Post,  August  20.       Stern,  Carole.  2015.  “In  Praise  of  ClickIvism.”  Huffington  Post,  March  31.