Clicktivism: What is it good for?

New media’s such as Blogging and social media has become a powerful tool for activism or ‘clicktivism’, their influence in raising awareness of issues to the social networks of Facebook , twitter and instagram is uncanny. Are they really doing any good , is liking or sharing a page really doing anything productive? Even politicians are using social media as a key aspect of their campaigns; Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaign relied heavily on the use of social media. Some even argue that it secured his victory; his was the first politician to use social media on such a large scale.

Social media gives a voice to the voiceless, it can raise awareness but also cloud truth and this is an issue of concern, the negative aspect of clicktivism. As most public issues are mentioned on social media in some shape or form these days it can promote a sense of community, bringing people together or pure outrage amongst users. The Kony 2012 campaign is an example of people wanting to get involved, stand for something, making a difference. The campaign became very popular , the video pulled on the audience’s heart strings and making the viewer eager to get involved and make a change.

The campaign set out to ‘make him famous’ but it did not appear to do much more as speculation fell on the creator being a fraud , a con artist, social media was turned from a tool of aid to annihilation as negative comments lead to his mental breakdown. The main point people need to remember is that making a change is more than just liking a page or sharing it to your friends, social media can be a great tool to create awareness and create interest but if no action follows then the activism is only full of hot air.

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