Social Media = Social Change?: The Benefits and Pitfalls of ‘Slacktivism’

It is a familiar enough situation to many who spend enough time online (which is probably too many of us). A controversy or conflict arises and within days, hashtags are created, profile pictures are changed and statuses are updated to ‘bring awareness’ to a cause.

With much of human communication happening over the internet over the past couple of decades, it is only natural that activism too has moved into the online space. Yet such form of raising awareness has often been described pejoratively as ‘slacktivism’ or ‘clicktivism’ – a ‘lazy’ form of activism that asks little of its participants and affects little change in the real world.

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Hagia Sophia and Its Multiple Lives

In July 2020, Turkish President Erdogan surprised nearly everyone with his decision to annul a 1934 bill converting the Hagia Sophia into a museum and instead reinstated the space as a functioning mosque. The transition was quick: the announcement to do so was done on July 10, and within two weeks, the building reopened its doors to host Friday prayers attended by Erdogan, top government officials, and around 350,000 congregants.

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BLM Movement Around the World and in Singapore: Reflections on Struggle and Solidarity

On 25 May 2020, George Floyd was unjustly killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis, United States. The impact of his death reverberated across the country and the globe, from Sri Lanka to Spain and South Korea to Senegal. All over the world, people took to the streets – for the most part, peacefully – to demonstrate solidarity with Floyd, and the larger Black community in the United States.

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