Posted by: fnanbe | November 27, 2017

Hashtag Activism: More Than Just Slacktivism Organizing

In the article entitled ‘Media Ecology and Hashtag Activism: Kaleidoscope’, the authors explore the world of hashtag activism and the negative and positive effects of this media ecology. The author approached this perspective of Hashtag activism through the unique metaphorical lens of a Kaleidoscope.

Hashtag Activism is Digital solidarity. The usage of hashtags on platforms like Instagram and Twitter allow people across the world to communicate about important social and political issues and sometimes respond beyond the virtual world by organizing movements. Without Hashtags Activism, movement like #BlackLivesMatter would have remained an idea in Oakland, California and wouldn’t have transpired into the movement it is today. The article made mention of the ‘Die-ins’ in response to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson. I remember vividly exploring this hashtag on Instagram and the photos of demonstrations that accompanied it. I was powerful so I decided to participate on my college campus.

In section entitled ‘Kaleidoscope Turn: Beautiful and Interesting’, the authors reflect on popular hashtags of the past couple of year, many of which were a distant memory to me. As I thought back on my engagement with some of these hashtags, I remember being emotional and provoked by the issue – I ‘shared’ and participated in conversations. But for some hashtag movements, that was the extent of my participation; a share and a few dozen ‘likes’. The article says that being ‘superficially’ involved helps the reputation of the movement. If this is the case, is slacktivism actually activism or are there levels to becoming an activist?

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Responses

  1. Slacktivism gets a bad rap for, well– being a slacker’s way of social activism. Of course, the existence of slacktivism does not in any way hinder traditional activism, if anything, it supplements it by spreading awareness, awakening the interest and potential active participation in others who would otherwise be unaware, and strengthening the relevance of the movement with the sheer power of numbers and organization that social media brings.


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