Clicktivism or Slacktivism?
Many of us will at some time or another have signed an online petition. It is, after all, a quick, simple way of expressing our outrage and concern about all kinds of societal and political issues. Some people argue, however, that this is harmful to the democratic process and is leading to a lack of engagement or attempts to tackle problems head on in a practical manner. Online campaigns have been called clicktivism or slacktivism, terms that denigrate those who confine their activism to a few gentle clicks, perhaps without even much thought.
The proponents of this ever-growing global movement, however, refute such accusations, maintaining that they can change the world: after all, online commercial activity has changed the face of retail, and perhaps even led to the decline of our high streets; why should online pressure groups and political campaigns not have similar far-reaching consequences?
The jury is out on this question, but meanwhile we have some handy terms to bandy around.