Slacktivism – is it bad?

Thinking more about about slacktivism for a moment – Are all “easy” methods to engage considered slacktivism?  Are some of them not bad (or actually good?)  This topic has been floating around for a long time,  but today I was inspired by Beth Kanter’s blog post on Facebook Pages (with a great list of Facebook Page creation resources)  Joining a Facebook group is considered slacktivism, according to Wikipedia)

If slacktivism like joining a Facebook group or “becoming a fan of an organization” is bad, why do organizations spend time creating Facebook Pages at all?  Or why do they spend time on Twitter broadcasting their message for people to retweet?  Would Retweeting be considered slacktivism?  Isn’t communicating with and expanding your audience (considering how fragmented the media world is today) the point of all of these short conversations?

Some other “easy” (or call it slacktivism) examples:

  1. Everywun – Sponsor-supported games, tasks, etc
  2. Free Rice – Sponsor-supported words games to donate rice to the United Nations World Food Program
  3. igive – Online retail search engines that donate of percentage of sales to Non-Profits of your choice
  4. The Extraordinaries – micro-volunteering opportunities on mobile phones.  More to come on this
  5. Facebook Page – becoming a fan of a NonProfit
  6. Publisher donation of online media space – Having worked in the interactive media agency world, I’ve seen publishers donating ad space to NP’s through the PSAs shown in my clients’ campaign effectiveness studies (Dynamic Logic, Insights Express). Viewers are placed in either a control or exposed group. The control is shown a PSA instead of the client’s ad. This is an “easy” way publishers to donate space and possibly write off the value while giving NPs a way to reach consumers on the publisher’s site
  7. This list is small and incomplete.  Are there others you can think of?  Please feel free to suggest more!

3 responses to this post.

  1. Apparently Kiva is considered slacktivism. I sort of disagree, except for the idea that you are clicking from your couch. Lending through Kiva is more than joining a NPs Facebook group and definitely more than this definition from Urban Dictionary:

    “the act of participating in obviously pointless activities as an expedient alternative to actually expending effort to fix a problem.” Slacktivism 101″
    -from BeaconFire

    Check out the SXSW panel on Slacktivism 101


  2. […] for keeping me updated on the current debates and trends. I wouldn’t have ever known about “slacktivism” without […]


  3. […] for keeping me updated on the current debates and trends. I wouldn’t have ever known about “slacktivism” without […]


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