If there’s one thing, out of many aspects of Facebook that I cannot stand, it’s Clicktivism; aimless idiots posting pictures of overly edited pictures of starving children or abused animals which have clearly been made to look worse than they actually appear and with no context at all to what the picture is actually about, with such captions as “one like = one prayer” or “like if you care, keep scrolling if you want your mum to die in a pit of fire-breathing orcs” Its just plain, attention-seeking (insert profanity) business which really makes me groan. But the origins of Clicktivism seem to have been skewed a little since its development.
Originally, clicktivism or slacktivism involved modern-day activists of a certain cause, using social media to express the need to support whatever this cause was and to mostly organize and rally protests. These usually involve those involved taking extensive measures in support of an issue or social cause to promote it and make others away, yet they seem to have little or no practical effect on anyone. Instead, they create seemingly meaningless posts on Facebook with no effect on their audience and the cause behind the image that they are presenting is often lost behind meaningless titles and content.
An example of Clicktivism gone wrong, is the infamous #Kony2012 campaign, in which the non for profit organization “Invisible Children” launched a worldwide search for the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) Joseph Kony, who is continuing to recruit Northern Ugandan children as soldiers in his army. The organization initially broadcast a short-film in 2012 globally to make everyone aware of Kony so as to make him recognizable. This article by Henry Jenkins describes the repercussions of the campaign in further detail, but in a nutshell, the reception of the video made by Invisible Children wasn’t entirely productive; instead it was widely ridiculed and the message behind the campaign was severely skewed and lost all together even though it’s organisers had only the best intentions.
So it seems that the idea of trying to promote a campaign which is aimed to have positive outcomes, may not always turned out as planned when posted online, preaching to the social media sphere. Perhaps the organisers behind such campaigns should find a more effective way of reaching the general public and try to foresee any problems that may occur through the use of social media.