This week at foreignpolicy.com, online activism was given a pretty scathing critique, with much of its activity defined as "slacktivism" - one click actions that have no impact politically or socially, but cater to a "lazy generation" that is uninterested in the traditional hands on activism of the past.
Let's not get into trying to find answers to purely speculative questions like whether the utility of the very public work of 1000 "slacktivists" equals that of the very quiet and often unattributed work of one traditional activist. The real issue here is whether the mere availability of the "slacktivist" option is likely to push those who in the past might have confronted the regime in person with demonstrations, leaflets, and labor organizing to embrace the Facebook option and join a gazillion online issue groups instead. If this is the case, then the much-touted tools of digital liberation are only driving us further away from the goal of democratization and building global civil society.
As pointed out in the post, the real truth comes to whether or not online actions are done in addition to hands on actions and campaigns, or if they are a replacement.
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