#stopslacktivism: Why Clicks, Likes, and Shares Matter

Photo by  Mateusz Opasiński  /  CC

This chapter describes the utopian-dystopian dichotomy that has re-emerged within popular discourse on the Internet and politics. Characterised by a prevalence of unsubstantiated generalisations, slacktivism forms part of this vague and imprecise dichotomy. Dennis argues that the critique is flawed by an overly narrow focus, evaluating the relationship between acts of so-called slacktivism and the desired political outcome in isolation. By conceptualising participation as a process, a new set of questions emerge regarding the value of social media as a tool for deepening knowledge, for civic discussion, and for activism. In order to critically analyse the relationship between the routine use of social media and political participation, an alternative research agenda is proposed based on five key revisions.

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