Social Media Activism: A Theoretical Analysis

Improved Essays
Halupka, Max. 2014. Clicktivism: A systematic heuristic.Policy & Internet 6 (2): 115-32.
Halupka first starts by discussing why clicktivism has come to be viewed as a useless act in political terms. The article argues that online activism is more than just signing online petitions and liking things. Each action is significant in the fight for some sort of political change. Critics of it view it as a way for people to fulfil their moral obligations without actually doing anything but click a button. This article goes against this, discussing why social media activism is actually quite effective, no matter the size of an act.
The author points out that when clicktivism is used as a negative word, it typically only refers to attempts for political
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2013. Unpacking the use of social media for protest behavior: The roles of information, opinion expression, and activism. American Behavioral Scientist 57 (7): 920-42.
The author, Sebastian Valenzuela, begins by giving examples of social movements that have led to discussion about the use of social media in attempts at political change. A study that states social media can bring about group action is referenced, and it is stated that those who participate in protests are often social media users. Three reasons are given as to why social media prompts political change. First, social media can be used as a news source. Second, it is a space where opinions can be spread. Lastly, social media is a place where people can join movements and discover what else they can do for said movement. Valenzuela then goes into further detail about each of these reasons, expanding the concepts even farther. He notes that because some governments track what is being said on social media, political change has become even more
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Vie then points out that because memes are reaching so many people from so many different cultures, that they are effective in spreading idea for social movements. It is then explained what makes a successful meme- group identification. A large portion of the social media population has to understand and relate to the meme being presented. If group identification occurs, there is more likely to be attention on said meme. This could lead to support for a social movement, just as it did with the Human Rights Campaign marriage equality

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