Internet activism
Internet activism is the use of electronic communication technologies such as e-mail
Electronic mail, commonly known as email or e-mail, is a method of exchanging digital messages from an author to one or more recipients. Modern email operates across the Internet or other computer networks. Some early email systems required that the author and the recipient both be online at the...

, the World Wide Web
World Wide Web
The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet...

, and podcasts for various forms of activism
Activism consists of intentional efforts to bring about social, political, economic, or environmental change. Activism can take a wide range of forms from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning, economic activism such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing...

 to enable faster communications by citizen movements and the delivery of local information to a large audience. Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 technologies are used for cause-related fundraising
Fundraising or fund raising is the process of soliciting and gathering voluntary contributions as money or other resources, by requesting donations from individuals, businesses, charitable foundations, or governmental agencies...

, community building
Community building
Community building is a field of practices directed toward the creation or enhancement of community among individuals within a regional area or with a common interest...

, lobbying
Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies. Lobbying is done by various people or groups, from private-sector individuals or corporations, fellow legislators or government officials, or...

, and organizing
Organizing is the act of rearranging elements following one or more rules.Anything is commonly considered organized when it looks like everything has a correct order or placement. But it's only ultimately organized if any element has no difference on time taken to find it...



Author Sandor Vegh divides online activism into three main categories: Awareness/advocacy, organization/mobilization, and action/reaction.

The Internet is a key resource for independent activists or E-activists, particularly those whose message may run counter to the mainstream. "Especially when a serious violation of human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 occurs, the Internet is essential in reporting the atrocity to the outside world," Listserv
LISTSERV was the first electronic mailing list software application, consisting of a set of email addresses for a group in which the sender can send one email and it will reach a variety of people...

s like BurmaNet, Freedom News Group help distribute news that would otherwise be inaccessible in these countries.

Internet activists also pass on E-petitions to be sent to the government and public and private organizations to protest against and urge for positive policy change in areas from the arms trade to animal testing
Animal testing
Animal testing, also known as animal experimentation, animal research, and in vivo testing, is the use of non-human animals in experiments. Worldwide it is estimated that the number of vertebrate animals—from zebrafish to non-human primates—ranges from the tens of millions to more than 100 million...

. Many non-profits and charities use these methods, emailing petitions to those on their email list, asking people to pass them on. The Internet also enables organizations such as NGOs to communicate with individuals in an inexpensive and timely manner. Gatherings and protest
A protest is an expression of objection, by words or by actions, to particular events, policies or situations. Protests can take many different forms, from individual statements to mass demonstrations...

s can be organized with the input of the organizers and the participants. Lobbying
Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies. Lobbying is done by various people or groups, from private-sector individuals or corporations, fellow legislators or government officials, or...

 is also made easier via the Internet, thanks to mass e-mail
E-mail bomb
In Internet usage, an email bomb is a form of net abuse consisting of sending huge volumes of email to an address in an attempt to overflow the mailbox or overwhelm the server where the email address is hosted in a denial-of-service attack....

 and its ability to broadcast a message widely at little cost. Vegh's concept of organization/mobilization, for example, can refer to activities taking place solely online, solely offline but organized online, or a combination of online and offline. Mainstream social-networking sites, most noticeably, are also making e-activist tools available to their users.

In addition, Denial-of-service attacks
Denial-of-service attack
A denial-of-service attack or distributed denial-of-service attack is an attempt to make a computer resource unavailable to its intended users...

, the taking over and vandalizing of a website, uploading Trojan horses
Trojan horse (computing)
A Trojan horse, or Trojan, is software that appears to perform a desirable function for the user prior to run or install, but steals information or harms the system. The term is derived from the Trojan Horse story in Greek mythology.-Malware:A destructive program that masquerades as a benign...

, and sending out an e-mail bomb (mass e-mailings)
E-mail bomb
In Internet usage, an email bomb is a form of net abuse consisting of sending huge volumes of email to an address in an attempt to overflow the mailbox or overwhelm the server where the email address is hosted in a denial-of-service attack....

 are also examples of Internet activism. For more examples of these types of "direct action", see Hacktivism
Hacktivism is the use of computers and computer networks as a means of protest to promote political ends. The term was first coined in 1994 by a member of the Cult of the Dead Cow hacker collective named Omega...


Examples of early activism

One of the earliest known uses of the Internet as a medium for activism was that around Lotus MarketPlace. On April 10, 1990, Lotus
Lotus Software
Lotus Software is a software company with headquarters in Westford, Massachusetts...

 announced a direct-mail marketing database
A database is an organized collection of data for one or more purposes, usually in digital form. The data are typically organized to model relevant aspects of reality , in a way that supports processes requiring this information...

 product that was to contain name, address, and spending habit information on 120 million individual U.S. citizens. While much of the same data was already available, privacy advocates worried about the availability of this data within one database. Furthermore, the data would be on CD-ROM
A CD-ROM is a pre-pressed compact disc that contains data accessible to, but not writable by, a computer for data storage and music playback. The 1985 “Yellow Book” standard developed by Sony and Philips adapted the format to hold any form of binary data....

, and so would remain fixed until a new CD-ROM was issued.

In response, a mass e-mail and E-bulletin-board campaign was started, which included information on contacting Lotus
Lotus Software
Lotus Software is a software company with headquarters in Westford, Massachusetts...

 and form letters.
Form letter
A form letter is a letter written from a template, rather than being specially composed for a specific recipient. The most general kind of form letter consists of one or more regions of boilerplate text interspersed with one or more substitution placeholders.Although form letters are generally...

 Larry Seiler, a New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

-based computer professional posted a message that was widely reposted on newsgroups and via e-mail: "It will contain a LOT of personal information about YOU, which anyone in the country can access by just buying the discs. It seems to me (and to a lot of other people, too) that this will be a little too much like big brother, and it seems like a good idea to get out while there is still time."Over 30,000 people contacted Lotus and asked for their names to be removed from the database. On January 23, 1991, Lotus announced that it had cancelled MarketPlace.

In 1993 a survey article about online activism around the world, from Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

 to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 appeared in The Nation
The Nation
The Nation is the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States. The periodical, devoted to politics and culture, is self-described as "the flagship of the left." Founded on July 6, 1865, It is published by The Nation Company, L.P., at 33 Irving Place, New York City.The Nation...

magazine, with several activists being quoted about their projects and views.

The earliest example of mass emailing as a rudimentary form of DDoS occurred on Guy Fawkes Day 1994, when the Intervasion of the UK
Intervasion of the UK
1994 electronic civil disobedience and collective action against John Major's Criminal Justice Bill which sought to outlaw outdoor dance festivals and "music with a repetitive beat". Launched by a group called The Zippies from San Francisco's 181 Club on Guy Fawkes Day, November 5, 1994, it...

 began email-bombing John Major's cabinet and UK parliamentary servers in protest against the Criminal Justice Bill which outlawed outdoor rave festivals and "music with a repetitive beat"

In 1995-1998, Z magazine offered courses online through Left Online University, with being taught on "Using the Internet for Electronic Activism."

The practice of cyber-dissidence and activism per se, that is, in its modern-day form, may have been inaugurated by Dr. Daniel Mengara, a Gabonese scholar and activist living in political exile in New Jersey in the United States. In 1998, he created a Website in French whose name Bongo Doit Partir (Bongo Must Go) was clearly indicative of its purpose: it encouraged a revolution against the then 29-year-old regime of Omar Bongo in Gabon. The original URL,, began to redirect to in the year 2000. Inaugurating what was to become common current-day practice in the politically-involved blogosphere, this movement's attempt at rallying the Gabonese around revolutionary ideals and actions has ultimately been vindicated by the 2011 Tunisian and Egyption revolutions, where the Internet has proved to be an effective tool for instigating successful critique, opposition and revolution against dictators. In July 2003, Amnesty International reported the arrest of five Gabonese known to be members of the cyber-dissident group Bongo Doit Partir. The five members were detained for three months (See: Gabon: Prisoners of Conscience and Gabon: Further information on Prisoners of conscience).

Another well-known example of early Internet activism took place in 1998, when the Mexican
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 rebel group EZLN used decentralized communications, such as cell phones, to network with developed world activists and help create the anti-globalization
Criticism of globalization is skepticism of the claimed benefits of the globalization of capitalism. Many of these views are held by the anti-globalization movement however other groups also are critical of the policies of globalization....

 group Peoples Global Action (PGA) to protest the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

. The PGA continued to call for "global days of action" and rally support of other anti-globalization groups in this way.

Later, a worldwide network of Internet activist sites, under the umbrella name of Indymedia, was created "for the purpose of providing grassroots coverage of the WTO protests in Seattle" in 1999. Dorothy Kidd quotes Sheri Herndon in a July 2001 telephone interview about the role of the Internet in the anti-WTO protests: "The timing was right, there was a space, the platform was created, the Internet was being used, we could bypass the corporate media, we were using open publishing
Open publishing
Open publishing is a process of creating news or other content that is transparent to the readers. They can contribute a story and see it instantly appear in the pool of stories publicly available. Those stories are filtered as little as possible to help the readers find the stories they want....

, we were using multimedia
Multimedia is media and content that uses a combination of different content forms. The term can be used as a noun or as an adjective describing a medium as having multiple content forms. The term is used in contrast to media which use only rudimentary computer display such as text-only, or...

 platforms. So those hadn't been available, and then there was the beginning of the anti-globalization movement
Anti-globalization movement
The anti-globalization movement, or counter-globalisation movement, is critical of the globalization of corporate capitalism. The movement is also commonly referred to as the global justice movement, alter-globalization movement, anti-globalist movement, anti-corporate globalization movement, or...

 in the United States."

Voter March, an Internet-based advocacy group founded in November of 2000, was formed in response to the debacle of the 2000 Presidential election recount
United States presidential election in Florida, 2000
The 2000 United States presidential election in Florida took place on November 7, 2000 as it did in the other 49 states and D.C., which was part of the 2000 United States presidential election...

. Voter March built an online community of activist members with more than 60 state and local chapters. Membership in Voter March email lists and Yahoo egroups was over 10,000 individuals. On March 10, 2001, Lou Posner, the founder of Voter March, was a plenary speaker at the "Grassroots Use of the Internet" conference at Yale University.

Empowering insurgencies

When discussing the 2004 U.S. presidential election candidates, Carol Darr, director of the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet
Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet
The Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet studies the role of the Internet in politics with a view to improving citizen participation, enhancing democratic values and promoting better governance...

 at George Washington University
George Washington University
The George Washington University is a private, coeducational comprehensive university located in Washington, D.C. in the United States...

 in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, said of the candidates which benefited from use of the Internet to attract supporters: "They are all charismatic, outspoken mavericks and insurgents. Given that the Internet is interactive and requires an affirmative action on the part of the users, as opposed to a passive response from TV users, it is not surprising that the candidate has to be someone people want to touch and interact with."

A more decentralized approach to campaigning arose, in contrast to a top-down, message-focused approach usually conducted in the mainstream. "The mantra has always been, 'Keep your message consistent. Keep your message consistent,'" said John Hlinko, who has participated in Internet campaigns for and the electoral primary campaign of Wesley Clark
Wesley Clark
Wesley Kanne Clark, Sr., is a retired general of the United States Army. Graduating as valedictorian of the class of 1966 at West Point, he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford where he obtained a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and later graduated from the...

. "That was all well and good in the past. Now it's a recipe for disaster ... You can choose to have a Stalinist
Stalinism refers to the ideology that Joseph Stalin conceived and implemented in the Soviet Union, and is generally considered a branch of Marxist–Leninist ideology but considered by some historians to be a significant deviation from this philosophy...

 structure that's really doctrinaire and that's really opposed to grassroots. Or you can say, 'Go forth. Do what you're going to do.' As long as we're running in the same direction, it's much better to give some freedom."

"The Internet is tailor-made for a populist, insurgent movement," says Joe Trippi
Joe Trippi
Joe Trippi is a long-time American Democratic campaign worker and consultant. A mainstay in presidential politics, Trippi has worked on the presidential campaigns of Edward Kennedy, Walter Mondale, Gary Hart, Dick Gephardt, Jerry Brown and most recently John Edwards...

, who managed the Howard Dean campaign
Howard Dean presidential campaign, 2004
The Governor of Vermont, Howard Dean, formed an exploratory committee to evaluate a presidential election campaign on May 31, 2002. Dean then formally announced his intention to compete in the 2004 Democratic primaries to seek the Democratic Party's nomination for President on June 23, 2003 Dean...

. In his campaign memoir, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, Trippi notes that the Internet's
roots in the open-source ARPAnet
The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network , was the world's first operational packet switching network and the core network of a set that came to compose the global Internet...

, its hacker culture
Hacker culture
A hacker is a member of the computer programmer subculture originated in the 1960s in the United States academia, in particular around the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 's Tech Model Railroad Club and MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory...

, and its decentralized, scattered architecture make it difficult for big, establishment candidates, companies and media to gain control of it. And the establishment loathes what it can't control. This independence is by design, and the Internet community
The term community has two distinct meanings:*a group of interacting people, possibly living in close proximity, and often refers to a group that shares some common values, and is attributed with social cohesion within a shared geographical location, generally in social units larger than a household...

 values above almost anything the distance it has from the slow, homogenous stream of American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 commerce and culture. Progressive candidates and companies with forward-looking vision have an advantage on the Internet, too. Television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

 is, by its nature, a nostalgic medium
Media (communication)
In communications, media are the storage and transmission channels or tools used to store and deliver information or data...

. Look at Ronald Reagan's campaign
Ronald Reagan presidential campaign, 1980
Ronald Reagan, the 33rd Governor of California, announced his candidacy for President of the United States in New York City on November 13, 1979. On July 17, 1980, he became the nominee of the Republican Party for the 1980 presidential election. After receiving the Republican nomination, he...

 ads in the 1980s - they were masterpieces of nostalgia promising a return to America's past glory and prosperity
Prosperity is the state of flourishing, thriving, good fortune and/or successful social status. Prosperity often encompasses wealth but also includes others factors which are independent of wealth to varying degrees, such as happiness and health....

. The Internet, on the other hand, is a forward-thinking and forward-moving medium, embracing change and pushing the envelope of technology
Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ;...

 and communication
Communication is the activity of conveying meaningful information. Communication requires a sender, a message, and an intended recipient, although the receiver need not be present or aware of the sender's intent to communicate at the time of communication; thus communication can occur across vast...


According to some observers, the Internet may have considerable potential to reach and engage opinion leaders who influence the thinking and behavior of others. According to the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet, what they call "Online Political Citizens" (OPCs) are "seven times more likely than average citizens to serve as opinion leaders among their friends, relatives and colleagues…Normally, 10% of Americans qualify as Influentials. Our study found that 69% of Online Political Citizens are Influentials."

The Internet has also made it easier for small donors to play a meaningful role in financing political campaigns. Previously, small-donor fundraising was prohibitively expensive, as costs of printing and postage ate up most of the money raised. Groups like MoveOn, however, have found that they can raise large amounts of money from small donors at minimal cost, with credit card transaction fees constituting their biggest expense. "For the first time, you have a door into the political process that isn't marked 'big money,' " says Darr. "That changes everything.

Corporate activism

Corporations are also using Internet activist techniques to increase support for their causes. According to Christopher Palmeri with BusinessWeek Online, companies launch sites with the intent to positively influence their own public image, to provide negative pressure on competitors, to influence opinion within select groups, and to push for policy changes.

The clothing manufacturer, American Apparel
American Apparel
American Apparel is a clothing manufacturer in the United States. It is a vertically integrated clothing manufacturer, wholesaler, and retailer that also performs its own design, advertising, and marketing...

 is an example: The company hosts a website called Legalize LA
Legalize LA
'Legalize LA’’’ was an activist campaign promoting amnesty for undocumented immigrants, propagated through billboards, protests, clothing, advertisements, educational pamphlets, and grass roots support, underwritten by American Apparel...

 that advocates immigration reform
Immigration reform
Immigration reform is a term used in political discussion regarding changes to current immigration policy of a country. In its strict definition, "reform " means to change into an improved form or condition, by amending or removing faults or abuses....

 via blog, online advertising, links to news stories and educational materials. Protest groups have responded by posting YouTube videos
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

 and establishing a boycott
A boycott is an act of voluntarily abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with a person, organization, or country as an expression of protest, usually for political reasons...


Another example, which "is committed to providing detailed and up-to-date information about the funding source of radical anti-consumer organizations and activists." The website is created by the Center for Consumer Freedom
Center for Consumer Freedom
The Center for Consumer Freedom , formerly the Guest Choice Network, is a non-profit American lobby group. It describes itself as "dedicated to protecting consumer choices and promoting common sense," and defending "the right of adults and parents to choose how they live their lives, what they eat...

, a "coalition of restaurants, food companies, and consumers" many of which have themselves been the target of the organizations which the website targets. This method of information dissemination is labelled "astroturfing
Astroturfing is a form of advocacy in support of a political, organizational, or corporate agenda, designed to give the appearance of a "grassroots" movement. The goal of such campaigns is to disguise the efforts of a political and/or commercial entity as an independent public reaction to some...

," as opposed to "grassroots activism," due to the funding for such movements being largely private. More recent examples include the right-wing which organized the "Taxpayer March on Washington" on September 12, 2009 and the Coaltion to Protect Patients' Rights, which opposes universal health care in the U.S.


Critics argue that this form Internet activism faces the same challenges as other aspects of the digital divide
Digital divide
The Digital Divide refers to inequalities between individuals, households, business, and geographic areas at different socioeconomic levels in access to information and communication technologies and Internet connectivity and in the knowledge and skills needed to effectively use the information...

, particularly the global digital divide
Global digital divide
The global digital divide is a term used to describe “great disparities in opportunity to access the Internet and the information and educational/business opportunities tied to this access … between developed and developing countries”...

. Some say it gives disproportionate representation to those with disproportionate access or technological ability.

Another concern, expressed by author and law professor Cass Sunstein
Cass Sunstein
Cass R. Sunstein is an American legal scholar, particularly in the fields of constitutional law, administrative law, environmental law, and law and behavioral economics, who currently is the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration...

, is that online political discussions lead to "cyberbalkanization
Cyberbalkanization refers to the division of the world wide web into sub-groups with specific interests, to the extent that a sub-group's members almost always use the web to communicate or read material that is only of interest to the rest of the sub-group...

"—discussions that lead to fragmentation and polarization rather than consensus, because the same medium that lets people access a large number of news sources also lets them pinpoint the ones they agree with and ignore the rest.

The experience of the echo chamber is easier to create with a computer than with many of the forms of political interaction that preceded it," Sunstein told the New York Times. "The discussion will be about strategy, or horse-race issues
Horse race journalism
Horse race journalism is a term used to describe instances of political journalism of elections that resemble coverage of horse races because of focus on polling data, public perception instead of candidate policy, and almost exclusive reporting on candidate differences rather than similarities. ...

 or how bad the other candidates are, and it will seem like debate. It's not like this should be censored, but it can increase acrimony, increase extremism and make mutual understanding more difficult.

On the other hand, "the Internet connects all sides of issues, not just an ideologically broad anti-war constituency, from the leftists of ANSWER to the pressed-for-time 'soccer moms' who might prefer MoveOn, and conservative activists as well," opined Scott Duke Harris of the San Jose Mercury News
San Jose Mercury News
The San Jose Mercury News is a daily newspaper in San Jose, California. On its web site, however, it calls itself Silicon Valley Mercury News. The paper is owned by MediaNews Group...


Another concern, according to University of California professor Barbara Epstein, is that the Internet "allows people who agree with each other to talk to each other and gives them the impression of being part of a much larger network than is necessarily the case." She warns that the impersonal nature of communication by computer may actually undermine important human contact that always has been crucial to social movements.

Famed activist Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader is an American political activist, as well as an author, lecturer, and attorney. Areas of particular concern to Nader include consumer protection, humanitarianism, environmentalism, and democratic government....

 has stated that "the Internet doesn't do a very good job of motivating action" citing that the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

, corporations and the Pentagon
The Pentagon
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.Designed by the American architect...

 don't necessarily "fear the civic use of the Internet." Ethan Zuckerman
Ethan Zuckerman
Ethan Zuckerman is the director of the MIT Center for Civic Media, officially starting in September 2011.Zuckerman was one of the first staff members of, one of the first successful "dot com" enterprises, and later founder of Geekcorps and Global Voices Online...

 talks about "slacktivism
Slacktivism is a portmanteau formed out of the words slacker and activism. The word is usually considered a pejorative term that describes "feel-good" measures, in support of an issue or social cause, that have little or no practical effect other than to make the person doing it feel satisfaction...

" and that the Internet devaluated certain currencies of activism.

See also

  • Activism
    Activism consists of intentional efforts to bring about social, political, economic, or environmental change. Activism can take a wide range of forms from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning, economic activism such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing...

  • Advocacy
    Advocacy is a political process by an individual or a large group which normally aims to influence public-policy and resource allocation decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions; it may be motivated from moral, ethical or faith principles or simply to protect an...

  • Community informatics
    Community informatics
    Community informatics , also known as community networking, electronic community networking, community-based technologies or community technology refers to an emerging field of investigation and practice concerned with principles and norms related to information and communication technology with...

  • Community organizing
    Community organizing
    Community organizing is a process where people who live in proximity to each other come together into an organization that acts in their shared self-interest. A core goal of community organizing is to generate durable power for an organization representing the community, allowing it to influence...

  • E-democracy
    E-democracy refers to the use of information technologies and communication technologies and strategies in political and governance processes...

  • Grassroots
    A grassroots movement is one driven by the politics of a community. The term implies that the creation of the movement and the group supporting it are natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between this and a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures...

  • Hacktivism
    Hacktivism is the use of computers and computer networks as a means of protest to promote political ends. The term was first coined in 1994 by a member of the Cult of the Dead Cow hacker collective named Omega...

  • Virtual community
    Virtual community
    A virtual community is a social network of individuals who interact through specific media, potentially crossing geographical and political boundaries in order to pursue mutual interests or goals...

  • Volunteering
    Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity, intended to promote good or improve human quality of life, but people also volunteer for their own skill development, to meet others, to make contacts for possible employment, to have fun, and a variety of other reasons that could be...

  • Virtual volunteering
    Virtual volunteering
    Virtual volunteering is a term describing a volunteer who completes tasks, in whole or in part, off-site from the organization being assisted, using the Internet and a home, school, telecenter or work computer or other Internet-connected device. Virtual volunteering is also known as online...

Further reading

  • Ed Schwartz, NetActivism: How Citizens Use the Internet, Cambridge, MA: O'Reilly Media, 1996. ISBN 1-56592-160-7
  • Josh Richman, "Point-and-Click Activism," Oakland Tribune (Oakland, CA), June 9, 2002.
  • Steve Davis, Larry Elin and Grant Reeher, Click on Democracy: The Internet's Power to Change Political Apathy into Civic Action (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2002). ISBN 0-8133-4005-5.
  • Eric J.S. Townsend, E-Activism Connects Protest Groups. Web Makes It Easy To Organize Rallies Quickly, But Sheer Volume Of E-Mail Can Hinder Cause, Hartford Courant, December 4, 2002.
  • Steven F. Hick and John G. McNutt
    John G. McNutt
    John G. McNutt is a professor of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Delaware. He is a leading researcher on the use of information and communication technologies in the nonprofit sector. Much of his current work focuses on electronic advocacy, especially the application of Web...

    , Advocacy, Activism, and the Internet: Community Organization and Social Policy, Lyceum Books, 2002. ISBN 0-925065-60-9.

  • Molly Beutz Land, Networked Activism, Harvard Human Rights Journal / Vol. 22, 2009, p. 205–244. (PDF, 225 kb)

  • External links

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