Slacktivism

What Does Slacktivism Mean?

Slacktivism is a term that combines the words "slacker" and "activism" to refer to simple measures used to support an issue or social cause involving virtually no effort on the part of participants. Slacktivism is most commonly associated with actions like signing online petitions, copying social network statuses or joining cause-related social networking groups. Slacktivism critics contend these actions are merely for participant gratification because they lack engagement and commitment and fail to produce any tangible effect, in terms of promoting a cause.

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Techopedia Explains Slacktivism

Slacktivism is common online, particularly in social media, where statuses, information, images and avatars are posted and shared, allegedly to promote awareness within the slacktivist’s network.

Although slacktivism has a derogatory connotation, a U.S. survey conducted by Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication (CSIC) and Ogilvy Worldwide found that individuals that engage in slacktivism are more likely to contribute to a cause than non-slacktivists. This might include donating money and time, and even recruiting others to join a cause. As a result, nonprofits have started to cast slacktivists in a more favorable light. Rather than being viewed as non-contributors, slacktivists are now seen as potential (and more likely) recruits to the cause of an organization.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.