Balancing digital with non-digital activism: Activism vs. Slacktivism
Naomi McAuliffe (Poverty and Human Rights Campaign Manager, Amnesty International UK) advocates that good activism requires a balanced approach and using the right technology, not just popular technology.
Naomi manages 'Demand Dignity', Amnesty's Poverty and Human Rights Programme in the UK which includes campaigns on the right to housing, health and livelihood internationally, Corporate Accountability and campaigning against discrimination of Gypsy Roma Travellers. As the global priority campaign, Amnesty is exploring how digital activism, among other things, can be used by activists in the global south; including the opportunities, challenges and impacts of this. Naomi managed the 'Make Shell Come Clean' campaign which sought to address the impact of the oil industry in the Niger Delta and deployed a number of social media and online tools. In her spare time, Naomi also blogs and is an avid Tweeter.
Summary of Naomi's position:
"Social media is undoubtedly a useful activist tool but certainly we need to be realistic about its impact and see its role together with other forms of activism and the context its operating in. Facebook and Twitter were used by many to organise in Egypt in January this year, yet it was the people on the streets who brought about the revolution. Plus it is important to consider who has access to digital activism and what role do they have in social change - this returns a very mixed picture and one that no one can claim to be wholly positive or wholly negative."