Slacktivism

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For Fred Clark's blog, see Slacktivist.
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Slacktivism is a pejorative description for "activism" that requires little to no effort from the participants and has low to no effect towards the stated goal. The implication is that the person wants the warm and fuzzy feeling of fighting for a cause without, well, fighting for a cause. The word itself is a portmanteau[1] of "slacker" and "activism."

The term is often used to describe initiatives such as "If you care about cause X, like this page on Facebook" and other "awareness raising" campaigns. Slacktivism often takes the form of preaching to the choir, such as posting supportive comments on blogs only really frequented by people that already agree with it or writing articles for subscription-only newsletters the unconvinced layperson doesn't read.

In particular, slacktivists gravitate around online petitions for huge, sweeping change even though petitions haven't actually worked that way in over a century (if ever, really). Unsolicited petitions will often work for largely-trivial small community topics (e.g. holding a school dance on a particular date or changing the statue in front of city hall), but are somewhere between useless and laughable when trying to, say, end the war in Afghanistan. Online petitions are also very easily subject to ballot stuffing, making it that much easier to dismiss them altogether.

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  1. English for mot-valise