Report Example - How Does the Practice of "Trolling" Influence Participatory Civics and Digital Activism?

Published: 2024-01-17
Report Example - How Does the Practice of "Trolling" Influence Participatory Civics and Digital Activism?
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Politics Facebook
Pages: 2
Wordcount: 540 words
5 min read

In the article written by Zuckerman, he defines participatory civics as a form of civics involvement that uses media as the inner component and engages post-informed citizen design of civic participation (p.156). He has defined civics as the study of duties and rights of citizenship. Participatory citizen refers to political involvement through the media where citizens can see its effect in real-time. Digital activism according to Zuckerman is where activists use media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to influence other citizens by creating awareness and mobilizing them over a certain issue that may not be in line with citizen rights.

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Trolling can highly influence digital activism and also participatory civics because it involves activists creating conflicts on the internet by posting influential information on social media platforms. In his article, Zuckerman has outlined an image of protesters celebrating while holding a sign that appreciates Facebook. He says that it is through the media the activists managed to mobilize people to protest for political change where Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was expelled (p.151). This is evidence of the effects of trolling on digital activism and participatory civics.

Trolling may be preferred by many digital activists because when they post complaints online; many people worldwide can see the issues they are addressing. In his article, Zuckerman says that digital activists can share their views and they can know how many individuals have read their message and how it has been shared worldwide (p.156). The ability to see how many people have reacted to their point of view makes them motivated to continue. Like on Facebook one can see how many people have liked and reacted to their posts. Hence this is another way how trolling influences digital activism

Tufekci in her article records that the internet has helped protesters to form their movements without struggle (p.203). She says that these movements do not require policy paths such as elections since they are only meant for expressing protester's perspectives. Hence she says they cannot interfere with the practices in traditional politics unlike what Zuckerman states in his article. Although she supports Zuckerman's statement that many people changed their profile photos from blue and yellow to red and pink in the United States indicating that they supported same-sex marriage. The Human Right Campaign protesters managed to influence about three million people through Facebook according to Zuckerman's article (p. 152). This is a good example of how trolling impacts participatory civics and digital activism.

Trolling not only influences digital activism and participatory civics negatively but it also has positive effects. Phillips in his article (p. 134) states that trolling helps in disclosing harmful inferences about freedom and liberty. People can know their rights and if they are violated they can mobilize other participants easily through the internet so that they can claim their rights. Hence trolling has both positive and negative influences on digital activism and participatory civics. Thus before participants embrace trolling, they should first learn its effects and then make wise decisions.


Ethan Zuckerman, Principal Research Scientist, MIT Media Lab. Director, Center for Civic Media, MIT [].

Tufekci, Z. (2014). MEDIUM AND MOVEMENT (pp. 202-208). DOI: 10.1002/1944-2866.POI362

Phillips, W. (2015). This is why we can't Have nice things (pp. 113-134). MIT Press.

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Report Example - How Does the Practice of "Trolling" Influence Participatory Civics and Digital Activism?. (2024, Jan 17). Retrieved from

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