Closing Remarks

The purpose of this blog was to research and give supporting evidence to show the negative impacts of clicktivism and how you can go beyond clicktivism. As technology continues to advance, more and more people are resorting to online platforms to showcase their support. Clicktivism is only becoming more prevalent due to more accessible online resources for citizens. We made an effort to represent information from both supporters and opposers of clicktivism through our blog posts. The equal distribution through affirmative and refutation posts allowed us to create a stronger argument and clearly identify the weaknesses, strengths, and limitations in clicktivism.

Our own experience and research allowed us to obtain a foundational understanding of clicktivism and its limits. We decided to blog about various clicktivist campaigns as case studies to analyze clicktivism. We looked at #standingrock, #kony2012, #bringourgirlsback, and #cancelcolbert. We also gathered research from various news sources and research articles that show the drawbacks of clicktivism.

The most surprising thing our research showed us was that most of the opinions we analyzed had fundamental roots that believed clicktivism was useful to help spread awareness. We agree with this claim, however, we don’t believe that this should be the end of an individual’s support and that spreading awareness can not make a real change. Whether you are for or against clicktivism, both sides can agree that it ultimately helps easily spread awareness. It just depends on whether you believe that is sufficient support as activism.

The largest take away from this assignment was that real change comes from real actions. Clicktivism creates a form of self contentment and illusion that you are doing good by liking, sharing, etc., which makes people stop there.

Ultimately, clicktivism is the bare minimum for activists. The argument our blog was not for clicktivism to stop altogether, the argument was for clicktivism to merely be the starting point. Throughout history, we have seen real change occur through protests, marches, volunteering in communities, etc., not through a shared Facebook video. Clicktivism can support all those real-life actions and works as an effective way to spread the word, but it can not replace the role of those actions.

Ultimately, this blog was very educational for all of us. It put into perspective what we can do to show greater support because we too can fall victims to clicktivism. We learned that to make a real change in the world you must go beyond a click and be willing to physically go out to volunteer. We hope we were able to educate people on clicktivism and how to be a better global citizen.

Thank you for joining our group through this experience and taking the time to read about our thoughts. Now it’s time for you to make a change and go beyond clicktivism, what will you do next?

#CancelColbert: It’s not all bad

#Cancelcolbert was an internet campaign started by a woman named Suey Park in retaliation for a tweet sent out by the twitter account The Colbert Report.  The tweet sent out that cause such backlash said:

“I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.”

Many people associate this online campaign with the negative aspects of clicktivism.  Sadly, a lot of the time this campaign is discussed many people choose not to write about the benefits clicktivism can have on a campaign or organization.  The hashtag #cancelcolbert quickly became a top trending topic across the United States.  Colbert’s response to the tweet was that the twitter account that tweeted this controversial tweet was not affiliated with him or his television show, it was an account run by Comedy Central.  This online activism created a large amount of negative publicity for Mr. Colbert regardless of the fact he had nothing to do with the wrong-doing.

In an article from newrepublic.com titled Why Won’g Twitter forgive Suey Park, a narrative is created around clicktivism that only exaggerates the negatives of clicktivism.  Again, Suey Park started #cancelcolbert our blog does not argue that clicktivism is enough to create social change but we acknowledge the benefits it can have.  This article argues that clicktivism campaigns do more harm than good with very little good usually occurring at all.  It focuses on the idea of clicktivism spreading false messages in online campaigns and how that can affect its reader.

Although we agree that online activism is not enough to create real world change we don’t agree with how these articles surrounding #cancelcolbert frame the action of clicktivism.  It is important to recognize the benefit of easily being able to share a message online with millions of people in this world with the click of a button.

“A Nation of Likers”: An Affirmative Post

Unsurprisingly, there are many articles on the internet claiming that clicktivism doesn’t create real life change. One of the many articles we read is an opinion piece by Bruce Hartford from Huffington Post. In the lengthy article, Hartford claims that, “As someone who comes out of the civil rights and trade union traditions I believe that reporting back to your activists and members is an essential requirement for building and maintaining long-term trust and commitment. And while I support the clicktivism model and will continue to be a clicktivist myself, it seems to me that there are some inherent weaknesses in this form of social activism we should think about,” (Hartford). This statement backs up exactly what we are arguing for with our blog. Clicktivism is something that can help shed light on issues and should be something we can all take part in, but overall, its effects in actual real life change are minimal and incomparable. It is our duty as civilians to stand up and make change happen, rather than sitting behind a computer screen anonymously ‘liking’ charity pages.

In another article from heraldson.com, Johanna Leggat explains to her readers that, “We are a nation of likers, sharers and online tut-tutters. We are nothing, if not, prolific in our activism through the self conscious prism of social media. And, yet, for many of us there is a gulf between our impassioned online response to injustice and our willingness to do anything about them,” (Leggat). Throughout the entirety of the article, she goes on to explain that we mostly sit around on computers clicking like or share and ultimately end up feeling like we’ve done something. Legget exclaims that this is not change and should not be mistaken for it. Additionally, Legget included a 2013 study from the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business, which says, “would-be donors [neglect] to give money or time to charities after showing support for the cause on social media,” (Legget). Yet again confirming the idea that most people will support a charity online but rarely ever actually do something in real life about the cause. Again, this relates exactly to our point. We feel that clicktivism is not enough to create real change! We must get off the sofa, put away the electronics, and make real, visible change in the world.

“Clicktivism – Why social media is not good for charity”

An Article posted on sbs.com provides a video that highlights the negative aspects of clicktivism.  The video makes a number of arguments as to why clicktivism can actually be harmful to online campaigns.  The article is extremely one sided so it doesn’t discuss the positive aspects of clicktivism, but it does provide some interesting statistics.

“Slacktivists are precisely the sort of people who won’t change a thing.”

-Andy Park, SBS

This article also uses #Kony2012 as an example, as well as a few more Facebook campaigns.  Read the full article and watch the video here!

 

 

“FYI to Keyboard Warriors and Clicktivists: No One Can Hear You”

An article on MORPHEUS goes into the limits of clicktivism. Not only does the article touch base on what clicktivism is not, but it addresses how we can repurpose clicktivism and use the benefits for good. It aligns with our views that clicktivism should not be “beginning and ending your support”.

“What clicktivism should never be is an end-all, be-all to leading real sociopolitical change”

We agree with the article that we need to take a step further from clicktivism. Read the full article here!