| We control what|
you think with
|Said and done|
|Jargon, buzzwords, slogans|
|—A quote that helped change the world|
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 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.
- How Can We Let Darfur Know How Much We're Doing For Them? — The Onion News Network, on Slacktivism
- Why ‘Slacktivists’ Are More Active Than You Think, which analyzes the impact of traditional slacktivist activities
- "Where's My Water?" The most "realistic" foreign aid simulator ever. Sate Africa's thirst with the power of Facebook like and share buttons, just as in real life!
- Get it?
- English for mot-valise
- Willingham, AJ (May 19, 2018) How 'thoughts and prayers' went from common condolence to cynical meme. CNN. Retrieved September 19, 2018.