Slacktivism. How to be an Arm Chair Protester

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by Autumn Lakeland


slacktivism-vs-activism-975x220-975x220If you are like the millions of people who can not find the time or simply do not have the means to ‘get out there’ there’s still many things you can do to be active in our democracy. A democracy needs active citizens in order to work. As American Philosopher John Dewey once said, “Democracy is a way of life.”

It was once said the slacktivists were those who showed little interest or enthusiasm in being involved in the political process and showed lack of concern to global changes and social justice causes. But that’s all changed with the help of social media, websites and news platforms giving slacktivists a place to voice their opinions and help bring awareness to a cause.

Of course it’s best if a slacktivist starts with being informed. A simple click of the mouse may actually hurt a cause if one lacks understanding of the facts of the situation.

WHERE TO START

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Alexandra Samuel, the author of Work Smarter with Social Media says meaningful change only comes from conversation. He recommends tools like blogging, Facebook, Twitter, and RSS to challenge community engagement. Websites like NetSquared use technology for social impact by bringing together nonprofits,  activists, tech leaders and funders.

With the new POTUS now being called the first “Twitter President” it’s no wonder that people have taken to this social media platform for engagement and communication. Twitter is being used by people around the world to get news out, and show solidarity with the protesters.

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Try learning more about who represents you and what organizations they cooperate with. OpenSecrets.org  can help you be more informed about your representatives policy decisions. This website can offer you tools and information plus how to contact the policy makers.opensecrts

Help clean up Congress by supporting Clean Money Candidates. This website provides qualified candidates who agree to limit their spending and reject contributions from private sources.58496d_d3a98340b8cd411ea811a16ab428afad-mv2_d_2093_1759_s_2.png

A great place to seek out non-profit and social change organizations is
Better World Handbook .  It offers a short list of the most powerful social change organizations in the world.

If it’s global change you are concerned with then join websites like Global Voices  which curate, verify and translate trending news and stories you might be missing on the Internet, from blogs, independent press and social media in 167 countries.ff20908dd1593cd30f486d82a2cd86c4

Causes.com  is the place to discover, support and organize campaigns, fundraisers, and petitions around the issues that impact you and your community.

The Elders – an independent group of global leaders working together for peace and human rights.

Citizinvestor is a crowdfunding and civic engagement platform for local government projects. “We empower citizens to invest in their community and create real change”.

100 Days of Action is a calendar of activist and artistic actions that can be carried out either at home or in the world.

198 Methods of Nonviolent Action is literally a  list of actions classified into three broad categories: nonviolent protest and persuasion, noncooperation (social, economic, and political), and nonviolent intervention.

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VOTE WITH YOUR WALLET

Money is power and according to the App Better World Shopper you can turn your grocery list into a powerful tool that can help change the world.

Slide Share.net breaks down the bad from the good:

  • Rather than buying new goods from big brands – customers buy pre-owned goods from each other on eBay.
  • Rather than hiring a moving company – customers get moving help on TaskRabbit.
  • Rather than owning a car – customers share cars on demand via Car2Go.
  • Rather than staying at hotels – customers stay in homes through Airbnb.
  • Rather than getting a loan from a bank – customers borrow from each other through Lending Club.

Grab Your Wallet  offers a list of companies to Boycott and reasons why.
Buycott App  is an in-store barcode scanner that helps you use your dollars to create change.
Boycott Trump app  allows users to hit Trump where it hurts most.

CHANGE YOUR BANK

Bank of America, HSBC, UBS, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo are some of the institutions that are bankrolling what’s called DAPL, the Dakota Access pipeline as well as other oil pipelines throughout America. Big banks fund the coal industry, fund lobbying efforts against climate change initiatives, give campaign contributions that can place their own executives in powerful government positions and are guilty of foreclosure fraud. There’s an entire industry of ethically minded banks and financial institutions out there to choose from. Remember if they’re too big to fail, they’re too big to jail!

Boycott Big Banks

Reverend Billy Talon and the Church of Stop Shopping  is real and the theatrical preacher Reverend Billy holds nothing back with his in-your-face anticonsumerist communion. His protests have focused on large corporations like Disney, Starbucks, Walmart, Chase Bank, Monsanto which was featured in a Morgan Spurlock documentary titled What Would Jesus Buy?  Reverend Billy reminds us to disturb the “seamless corporate architecture and choreography of shopping.”reverend_billy_protesting_against_starbucks

HACKTIVISM
Internet activism is called hacktivism. It’s been said that hackers have more ethics than government officials and in today’s society hackers activity has taken a decidedly political turn. In 1984 Steven Levy, author of the book Hackers, clarified “hacker ethics” into a general rule that “all information should be free” and “mistrust authority and promote decentralization.”

Groups like Anonymous, UrBaN Ka0s, CCC, Lizard Squad and LulzSec break into dozens of high-profile computer systems to achieve that goal. They crack websites with messages of protest for example in 1996 someone changed the homepage of the United States Department of Justice website to read “Department of Injustice”. They also develop software tools to support free speech and privacy.department-of-injustice

Mega-hacker Kim Dotcom launched a group called Young Intelligent Hackers Against Terrorism aimed to stop the financing of terrorists. There are tens of thousands of hackers world wide and you might meet a few on web chat boards like 4CHAN however most are found on the Dark Web, Deep Web or Onion websites. Many of these hackers are known as black hats, or those who want to do harm rather than good. Knowing this distinction is important.

PETITION WEBSITES

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Avaaz is an organizer of social and political activities
Change is an online petition platform
CARE2 A user-friendly tool to create petitions

The people or organizations listed on this page does not constitute endorsement or recommendation. Some may be a nonprofit organization created by a subsidiary with either a for-profit or a nonprofit structure.  Make your own choices as to who you want to support. 

    • ARTS AND CULTURE

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    • EDUCATION

education

    • ENVIRONMENT

environment

    • FOOD

food

    • GLOBAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT

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    • HEALTH

health

    • SOCIAL JUSTICE

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    • WILDLIFE

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Feel free to share this information with everyone. The more people involved in the process of real change helps better our chances of achieving this goal.a257fcae7274aae1846a3b3e4b244331

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