Helping the World One ‘Like’ at a Time: The Rise of the Slacktivist
Much like the corporate sector, the charity and non-profit sector has adopted social media as one of their core engagement and fundraising tools. The online community has great power and has worked well for many brands; however, the extent to which this is benefitting the third sector is debatable. Is liking a non-profit organization on Facebook equal to donating money or running a marathon? A consumer’s online interaction with a charity, e.g. liking or sharing social media content and pages, is sometimes referred to as ‘slacktivism’. To date, studies on ‘slacktivist’ behavior in the social media context are limited to few conceptual papers. This study provides empirical insights into motivations and interactions of social media users towards non-profit and charity-related social media campaigns.
KeywordsNon-profit and charity-related social media campaigns Slacktivism Theory of reasoned actions Big five personality factors Social media engagement
- AMEC. 2016. Integrated Evaluation Framework. London: AMEC. http://amecorg.com/amecframework/. Accessed 2 May 2017.
- Bekkers, René, and Pamala Wiepking. 2010. A Literature Review of Empirical Studies of Philanthropy: Eight Mechanisms that Drive Charitable Giving. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09653560010361393
- Corr, Philip J., Shaun P. Hargreaves Heap, Charles R. Seger, and Kei Tsutsui. 2015. An Experiment on Individual ‘Parochial Altruism’ Revealing No Connection Between Individual ‘Altruism’and Individual ‘Parochialism’. Frontiers in Psychology 6. http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01261.
- Giving, Just. 2015. Slacktivism – Monster or Myth? A Free Report. London: Just Giving.Google Scholar
- Grummas, Emma. 2015. Likes Don’t Save Lives – Lessons from a Social Media Campaign. The Guardian, 23 September 2015. http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/likes-dont-save-lives-unicef-social-media. Accessed 15 Sept 2015.
- Guo, Chao, and Gregory D. Saxton. 2013. Tweeting Social Change: How Social Media are Changing Nonprofit Advocacy Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 1–23. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0899764012471585. Accessed 1 Dec 2015.
- Khazan, Olga. 2013. UNICEF Tells Slacktivists: Give Money, Not Facebook Likes. The Atlantic, 30 April 2013. http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/04/unicef-tells-slacktivists-give-money-not-facebook-likes/275429/. Accessed 20 Jan 2014.
- Kottasz, Rita. 2004. Differences in the Donor Behavior Characteristics of Young Affluent Males and Females: Empirical Evidence from Britain. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations 15: 181–203. http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/B:VOLU.0000033180.43496.09.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kristofferson, Kirk, Katherine White, and John Peloza. 2014. The Nature of Slacktivism: How the Social Observability of an Initial Act of Token Support Affects Subsequent Prosocial Action Journal of Consumer Research 40:1149-1166. http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/674137. Accessed 1 Dec 2015.
- Lawrance, David. 2016. How Charities Can Make Better Use of Social Media. The Guardian, 28 February 2013. http://www.theguardian.com/voluntary-sector-network/2013/feb/28/charities-social-media. Accessed 2 Feb 2016.
- Lee, Yu-Hao, and Gary Hsieh. 2013. Does Slacktivism Hurt Activism?: The Effects of Moral Balancing and Consistency in Online Activism. Paper Presented at ACM, Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Paris, France, April 27 – May 2.Google Scholar
- Lovejoy, Kristen, Richard D. Waters, and Gregory D. Saxton. 2012. Engaging Stakeholders Through Twitter: How Nonprofit Organizations are Getting More Out of 140 Characters or Less. Public Relations Review 38: 313–318. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2012.01.005. Accessed 1 Dec 2015.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Messing, Solomon, and Sean J. Westwood. 2012. Selective Exposure in the Age of Social Media: Endorsements Trump Partisan Source Affiliation When Selecting News Online. Communication Research. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0093650212466406.
- Populus. 2016. Public Trust and Confidence in Charities. Charity Commission UK. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/532104/Public_trust_and_confidence_in_charities_2016.pdf. Accessed 18 Apr 2017.
- Reyniers, Diane, and Richa Bhalla. 2013. Reluctant Altruism and Peer Pressure in Charitable Giving. Judgment and Decision Making 8: 7.Google Scholar
- Rotman, Dana, Sarah Vieweg, Sarita Yardi, Ed Chi, Jenny Preece, Ben Shneiderman, Peter Pirolli, and Tom Glaisyer. 2013. From Slacktivism to Activism: Participatory Culture in the Age of Social Media. Paper Presented at AMC. CHI'11 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Vancouver, May 7–12.Google Scholar
- Stroebe, Wolfgang, and Bruno S. Frey. 1982. Self-interest and Collective Action: The Economics and Psychology of Public Goods. British Journal of Social Psychology 21: 121–137. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8309.1982.tb00521.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Vesterlund, Lise, Mark Wilhelm, and Huan Xie. 2008. Motives for Charitable Giving. Mimeo: University of Pittsburgh.Google Scholar
- Vie, Stephanie. 2014. In Defense of “Slacktivism”: The Human Rights Campaign Facebook Logo as Digital Activism. First Monday 19. http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v19i4.4961.