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date: 20 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

When created, social media was merely a somewhat frivolous method of disseminating media to others within an online network. Since then it has evolved to become a key facet of online life. This chapter examines how social media has fostered cyberactivism, the propagation of political and social change through the use of online resources. It first considers broad motives for social media use and how these may map onto cyberactivism. The chapter then investigates how classic models of offline collective action may apply to online versions of this behavior. It also asks if cyberactivism actually has any meaningful effect or, if not, if it simply provides users with the illusion of philanthropy without contributing anything authentic, that is, “slacktivism.” Finally, the chapter considers the future of cyberactivism, and how continued developments in social media mean the online arena will only become more important when attempting to change hearts and minds.

Keywords: cyberactivism, social media, Internet, slacktivism, collective action, online

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