[Lim’s publication] Many Clicks but Little Sticks: Social Media Activism in Indonesia

I would like to share my newly published article:

Lim, M. 2013, Many Clicks but Little Sticks: Social Media Activism in Indonesia, Journal of Contemporary Asia, DOI:10.1080/00472336.2013.769386

To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00472336.2013.769386

Drawing on empirical cases from Indonesia, this article offers a critical approach to the promise of social media activism by analysing the complexity and dynamics of the relationship between social media and its users. Rather than viewing social media activism as the harbinger of social change or dismissing it as mere “slacktivism,” the article provides a more nuanced argument by identifying the conditions under which participation in social media might lead to successful political activism. In social media, networks are vast, content is overly abundant, attention spans are short, and conversations are parsed into diminutive sentences. For social media activism to be translated into populist political activism, it needs to embrace the principles of the contemporary culture of consumption: light package, headline appetite and trailer vision. Social media activism is more likely to successfully mobilise mass support when its narratives are simple, associated with low risk actions and congruent with dominant meta-narratives, such as nationalism and religiosity. Success is less likely when the narrative is contested by dominant competing narratives generated in mainstream media.

Interested to read a full version of the article?

For those who have access from the university library, please download here (I share it online in my website but I also would like to push Taylor & Francis to give free access — if my article has a very high readership it’s more likely they’ll give free access).

For those who are not affiliated with any university, please download here for a free e-print.


3 thoughts on “[Lim’s publication] Many Clicks but Little Sticks: Social Media Activism in Indonesia”

  1. Well written as always mbak. You know what? Even UN has keep their eye on social media as part of their global post project. So, every complains/critics/opinions from facebook users and other social media are considered to anticipate negative as well as positive impacts on development. And this thing is started in Indonesia, considering the large numbers of social media users


    mer Reply:

    thanks QQ. yeah, all over the world many institutions now believe (too much) in the power of social media. my point (in this article) is, oh well, it doesn’t have that much inherent power, or its power/potential is conditional.


  2. Agree with you mbak, somehow mainstream media (which I never considered as politically neutral) plays significant role in driving the social media users. On the contrary, mainstream media broadcasts news that was originally posted on socmed e.g twitter


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