August 16th, 2010

Online Activism Cartoon

by Alex Hallatt

We are in the midst of a terrible election campaign in Australia. Neither major party is looking attractive right now, with climate change action (an important part of Kevin Rudd’s campaign) having fallen off the agenda. It makes me feel really frustrated with the system (though I can’t vote here, as I am not a citizen) and I wish that the parties would respond to the mounting tide of organisations fighting for action on climate change. Perhaps they just aren’t doing it right.

online petition signing isn't going to change the world

Groups like Get Up have been successful in effecting change through online activism, but overall, people seem to be zoning out over the emails they get from campaigners. This article in the Guardian summed it up

The truth is that as the novelty of online activism wears off, millions of formerly socially engaged individuals who trusted digital organisations are coming away believing in the impotence of all forms of activism. Even leading Bay Area clicktivist organisations are finding it increasingly difficult to motivate their members to any action whatsoever. The insider truth is that the vast majority, between 80% to 90%, of so-called members rarely even open campaign emails. Clicktivists are to blame for alienating a generation of would-be activists with their ineffectual campaigns that resemble marketing.

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