Thursday, December 13, 2012

Slactivists or Activists?

From the report: "Social media have come to form an inherent part of most activist campaigns today. Yet, their potential to foster political participation and mobilization remains debated. While cyber-utopians insist on the positive contribution of social online-activism to participatory democracy, supporters of the "slactivism” argument dismiss it as a hedonist activity that carries little societal benefit. Our analysis of the Brazilian anti-corruption campaign Ficha Limpa picks up on this debate. We present original survey data concerning citizens’ use of social media and their offline participation in the context of this campaign. Using a binary logit model that estimates the relation between the use of different communication features supported by social media and contacting elected officials, we show that online activities involving relatively high transaction costs in terms of time and effort contribute more positively toward offline participation than simple single-click activities. Our findings indicate that the choice of appropriate social media formats may be a decisive element for the success of campaigners who seek to mobilize citizens via the Internet." Read more