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We control what
you think with

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Said and done
Jargon, buzzwords, slogans
For Fred Clark's blog, see Slacktivist.
1 goat = 1 prayer
—A quote that helped change the world[1]

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[2] 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.

Posts asking people to pray for a given cause or outcome could also, arguably, be considered a form of slacktivism. For example, the phrase "thoughts and prayers" was transformed from giving mere condolences from a shooting incident to a parody phrase due to conservative politicians being inactive in finding any solution (like say gun control) to further prevent those events.[3]

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  1. Get it?
  2. English for mot-valise
  3. Willingham, AJ (May 19, 2018) How 'thoughts and prayers' went from common condolence to cynical meme. CNN. Retrieved September 19, 2018.