The structure of online activism
AbstractDespite the tremendous amount of attention that has been paid to the internet as a tool for civic engagement, we still have little idea how “active” is the average online activist or how social networks matter in facilitating electronic protest. In this paper, we use complete records on the donation and recruitment activity of 1.2 million members of the Save Darfur “Cause” on Facebook to provide a detailed first look at a massive online social movement. While both donation and recruitment behavior are socially patterned, the vast majority of Cause members recruited no one else into the Cause and contributed no money to it-suggesting that in the case of the Save Darfur campaign, Facebook conjured an illusion of activism rather than facilitating the real thing.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 55821.
Date of creation: 18 Feb 2014
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Sociological Science, 18, February, 2014, 1, pp. 1-9. ISSN: 2330-6696
social networks; social movements; social media; online activism; Facebook; Save Darfur;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L91 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Transportation: General
- L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2014-03-08 (All new papers)
- NEP-HME-2014-03-08 (Heterodox Microeconomics)
- NEP-ICT-2014-03-08 (Information & Communication Technologies)
- NEP-NET-2014-03-08 (Network Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2014-03-08 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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