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...ver could in real life’. The social media activism which succeeds, Gladwell argues, does so not by motivating people to make real sacrifices and risks but by ‘motivating them to do the things that people do when they are not prepared to make real sacrifice’, such as signing online petitions, signing up to donor drives or retweeting images.
Yet Gladwell’s positions is overly pessimistic about the potential of social media as a medium for activism. There is nothing wrong in pointing out the various ways in which social media had aided revolutionary and popular social movements. After all, undoubtedly, social media has helped activists coordinate actions, get their message out and contest the official narratives of power actors. The kinds of things Morosov has branded these kinds of actions “slacktivism”: ‘a feel-good activism that has zero political or social impact.
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