Online Activism & Slacktivism in Participatory Culture

Critical Reflection for ALC203 Portfolio 2

For the second part of my portfolio, I chose to respond to the topic question ‘What potentialities and limitations does online media offer activists attempting to drive social change?’ Whilst this question was broad, I wanted to focus my video more narrowly on how we interact with activism online, specifically focusing on the concept of slacktivism.

While studying this topic in week eight, I found myself noticing my own interactions online when I have come across forms of activism. This idea of slacktivism and what makes us slacktivists was something that I thoroughly enjoyed researching. Out of the many examples of slacktivism online, the one that stood out to me most was the idea of Facebook profile picture overlays. I wanted my video not only to draw on the differences between the forms of online activism but also to illustrate an example that most of us are familiar with. I found that the use of Facebook overlays was one that many of us had engaged with online. Therefore, I made this a key issue to address in my video.

When choosing a strategy to adopt into my video, I decided that I wished to present it in an academic manner. Not being an overly creative person when it comes to video production, I wanted to portray my assignment in a manner familiar to me whilst also including as much engaging content as I possibly could. In addition to speaking to the camera, I decided to use images sourced from Creative Commons so that viewers could also engage with visuals rather than just listening to a piece-to-camera for the video’s duration. I also created a script to follow for my video.

For the second part of this portfolio, I made the decision to use images and music under Creative Commons licensing. Unlike in my first assessment blog post where I used original photographs, the graphics I wanted to use to illustrate some of my key messages worked more effectively when sourced from CC. I did however, use two screencaps from my Twitter handle @caitlynputt_to highlight the results to a poll I created about Facebook overlays.

Throughout the video, I have drawn on three scholarly sources to further demonstrate my research into online activism. I wanted my reference to the academic material to be easily spoken in my assignment, without separating it from the flow of my overall discussion.

During the video making process, I would not say that I experienced too many difficulties. I am quite familiar with Apple’s iMovie, as I have used it before throughout high school media studies, as well as other electives whilst at Deakin. For this reason, I chose to use iMovie as my editing software for the task as I knew I could create something comfortably and with minimal stress.

Through creating a video assignment like this in my studies, I believe it has further enhanced how I work with media both on and offline. The exercise is a great opportunity to showcase what I’ve learned (not only on this sub-topic) but in the last eleven weeks of this course. By way of being active online, the task of creating a video has become less daunting. I found the process to be a fun, challenging experience and believe that it has provided me with more knowledge on video making that I can apply to future assessments.

My broader online activity and engagement 

I have strived to be both active and engaged online throughout this semester. Following on from the first part of the portfolio, I have further applied myself in regards to being visible on social media. I have tweeted regularly to the unit hashtag and partaken in many conversations with my fellow peers (and tutors). I tweeted my LinkedIn profile to the unit hashtag so that those who wished to connect with me for future purposes could do so. Additionally, I created four more blog posts on some of the sub-topics we discussed in class and have participated in one of the video Tiffit Challenges.

Tweets embedded from my Twitter profile @caitlynputt_

Tweet 1 Tweet 2 Tweet 3 Tweet 4

Links to my blog posts

Blog 1 Blog 2 Blog 3 Blog 4

(678 words)

Reference List 

Scholarly sources used in video

Carty, V 2015, Social movements and new technology. [electronic resource], New York : Westview Press, 2015.

Glenn, CL 2015, ‘Activism or “Slacktivism?”: Digital Media and Organizing for Social Change’, Communication Teacher, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 81-5.

McCafferty, D 2011, ‘Activism vs. slacktivism’, Communications of the ACM, vol. 54, no. 12, pp. 17-9.

Creative Commons sourced material


The Art of Social Media ( by mkhmarketing (CC BY 2.0)

Support ( by Got Credit (CC BY 2.0)

Like ( by Thomas Angermann (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Share ( by Got Credit (CC BY 2.0)


Morning Sun ( by Nicolai Heidlas Music (CC BY 3.0)