“Clicktivism is the pollution of activism with the logic of consumerism.” – Micah White
A new form of social activism operates under the technocracy of programmers and “social media experts” who build glitzy, expensive websites and viral campaigns that amass millions of email addresses, collect billions of video views. And so ‘clicktivism’ was born.
Put your hand up if you remember Kony? Okay okay, most people have, but that was a trick question.
Remember him? REMEMBER? It only happened last year and yet the Kony 2012 – the “Stop Kony” movement aimed at making African cult and militia leader, indicted war criminal and the International Criminal Court fugitive Joseph Kony globally known in order to have him arrested by the end of 2012 – Seems to, at best, be exponentially less important than it was in October 2012 when it reached 97 million views on YouTube.
Because ‘clicktivism’, that’s why.
The fundamental problem with the technocratic approach of clicktivism is that metrics value only what is measurable. Clicktivism neglects the vital, immeasurable inner events and personal epiphanies that great social ruptures are actually made of. Wheres the heart ya’ll.
Because REAL social change is about the people, the emotions, the personal devotion meaning daring real-world actions are the indispensable foundation of social change. An activist agenda does not and should not replicate a marketing campaign because a few banal pronouncements about “democracy in action” coupled with an online petition will not usher in social transformation.
Rejecting clicktivism shouldn’t mean we close our eyes to the potential of technology, but acknowledge a strong history of activism.
“Social change is initially unpopular and insurrection always starts with disobedience. Trepidation is, therefore, the healthy response to the realities of culture jamming. Moments before victory, every revolutionary has felt the gut-pang of anxiety. But clicktivism encourages us to shirk these emotions, to hide behind the mouse, to embrace the inaction of passive clicking. Against this tendency, let us welcome butterflies back into our bellies.” – Micah White