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Pressure Groups (Politics A Level): Cyberactivists

CyberactivistsCyberactivists

"Also known as online activism or digital activism, cyberactivism is the gamut of Internet-based strategies and methods utilized by individuals and organizations for organizing, managing, and performing various types of activism. Cyberactivism aims to generate citizen-based movements for specific causes, similar to traditional activism .... It gained prominence with the emergence of social media and mobile technologies.

[it includes] online actions to promote awareness of causes, actions for organization and mobilization of followers, and actions substituting or enhancing traditional forms of activism."

Shani, M. & Leiser, A. (2017). Cyberactivism. In F. Moghaddam (Ed.), The SAGE encyclopedia of political behavior (pp. 157-158). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781483391144.n74.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

How to use this page

The resources on this page have been carefully selected to help you with your investigation, while you may choose to look at other resources there is no need to, and you should certainly start with these. The resources are divided into:

  • Specific resources for named groups (38 degrees, Change,org). You may want to start here to gather some basic information on your individual group.
  • Resources for Cyberactivists in general. These resources are specifically about Cyberactivists and will be useful for developing your argument about the extent to which Cyberactivists have a positive or negative influence and how you might like this to change.
  • General resources. These resources apply to all four categories of group, and will help you to think about how the different categories of pressure group fit together and what the role of Cyberactivists is within this. There are two very good Politics Review articles in this section that are worth reading, especially if your group is 38 degrees.

The Planning your article box to the right is identical to the one on The Orwell Youth Prize (OYP) page, and contains the Investigative Journal and Research Organiser that you will need to fill in as you do your investigation and plan your article. Make sure you refer back to the advice on the Orwell Youth Prize (OYP) page before you start to write your article.

Specific resources for named groups

38 degrees logo

38 degrees' own website is a good source of factual information about features such as goals, funding, structure and methods. Clearly there will be an element of bias so it must be used in conjunction with other sources when forming judgements and opinions. Make sure you explore the links at the top of the page to find out what the IFS says about its own successes.

References: 38 degrees. (2020). About. Retrieved from 38degrees.org: https://home.38degrees.org.uk/about/


Bee on flowerDigital democracy divides Westminster (Financial Times, 2016)

**You may need to log in to Access Global NewsBank using the details provided on the Subscription Databases page before clicking this link, particularly if you are not on the school network.**

The Financial Times is rated "Least Biased based on balanced reporting and High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing and a clean fact check" by Mediabiasfactcheck.org.

Reference: Allen, K. (2016) Digital democracy divides Westminster. Retrieved from The Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/499e3ac8-c50e-11e5-808f-8231cd71622e


The myth of the keyboard warrior: public participation and 38 Degrees (openDemocracy, 2014)

openDemocracy describes itself as an "independent global media organisation ...[that seeks] to educate citizens to challenge power and encourage democratic debate across the world." It is described as a left-centre source rated high for factual reporting by mediabiasfactcheck.com.

Reference: Dennis, J. (2014) The myth of the keyboard warrior: public participation and 38 Degrees. Retrieved from openDemocracy: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/participation-now/myth-of-keyboard-warrior-public-participation-and-38-degrees/


Laura KunessbergPeople power can be toxic. Sign here if you agree (Guardian, 2016)

The Guardian is a left-centre source rated high for factual reporting by mediabiasfactcheck.com. This is an opinion piece and should be treated as such.

Reference: Bennett, C. (2016, May 15). People power can be toxic: sign here if you agree. Retrieved from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/14/e-petitions-laura-kuenssberg-bbc-political-editor-female-jeremy-corbyn-38-degrees


change.org impact report

 

 

Change.org Impact Report 2018

The report that you can download from this page is a good source of information about goals, funding, structure and methods. You might want to explore the website more generally too - especially as the report is now two years old.

Clearly there will be an element of bias so it must be used in conjunction with other sources when forming judgements and opinions.

References: Change.org. (2018). Impact Report 2018. Retrieved from Change.org: https://static.change.org/brand-pages/impact/reports/2019/change.org_Impact_Report_english_FINAL.pdf


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How Change.org is monetising your passions and why you should care (SBS, 2016)

Special Broadcasting Service is an Australian Broadcaster which Media Bias/ Fact Check rates high for factual reporting and describes as having a left-centre bias.

Reference: Winsor, B. (2016, June 3) How Change.org is monetising your passions and why you should care. Retrieved from SBS: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-feed/how-change-org-is-monetising-your-passions-and-why-you-should-care


Change.orgMeet Change.org, the Google of Modern Politics (Wired, 2013)

Wired magazine is a left-centre source rated high for factual reporting by Media Bias/ Fact Check.

Although this article is 7 years old, it is an in-depth profile of Change.org and there is much that is still applicable.

Reference: Finley, K. (2013, September 26). Meet Change.org, the Google of Modern Politics. Retrieved from Wired: https://www.wired.com/2013/09/change-org/

General resources for Cyberactivists

Protests against lobbying billHow 'clicktivism' has changed the face of political campaigns (Guardian, 2014)

The Guardian is a left-centre source rated high for factual reporting by mediabiasfactcheck.com. Although 6 years old, this source discusses both 38 degrees and Change.org and gives a sense of how they work.

 

Reference: Howard, E. (2014) How 'clicktivism' has changed the face of political campaigns. Retrieved from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/sep/24/clicktivism-changed-political-campaigns-38-degrees-change

General resources


undefinedPressure Groups: Do they strengthen pluralist democracy? (Politics Review, 2015)

This article has case studies of the CBI and 38 degrees specifically, but is also a good general discussion of pressure groups and democracy.

Politics Review is a magazine aimed at A-Level students, usually accessed through our Subscription Databases page. It should be regarded as a reliable source. Note that this article is more than 5 years old.

Reference: Rathbone, M. (2015, November). Pressure groups: Do they strengthen pluralist democracy? Politics Review, 25(2), pp. 2-5.


Politics ReviewUK pressure groups and democracy (Politics Review, 2019)

Politics Review is a magazine aimed at A-Level students, usually accessed through our Subscription Databases page. It should be regarded as a reliable source.

Reference: Tomes, A. (2019, April). UK pressure groups and democracy. Politics Review, 28(4), pp. 6-9.

 

 


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The UK's changing democracy (Democratic Audit, 2018)

This is a long report, but you only need to look at the chapter on The Interest Group Process (pages 112-121). You could also search within the publication (using the shortcut "ctrl+F" as usual) for particular phrases such as Think Tank, Trade Union or Lobbyists. This document is least relevant for Cyberactivist groups.

Democratic Audit describes itself as "an independent research organisation based at the London School of Economics.", having moved there from the University of Essex. It is funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. Its attachment to a well-respected University gives it credibility and it has a generally good reputation online with other credible organisations.

Reference: Dunleavy, P., Park, A. and Taylor, R. (eds) (2018) The UK's Changing Democracy: The 2018 Democratic Audit. London: LSE Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31389/book1

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