The Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism

The cute cat theory of digital activism is a theory concerning internet activism, web censorship, and cute cats. Activists and the ‘apolical’ people alike use the same websites such Youtube, Twitter, blogs, Flickr, Facebook etc. Today, people use websites whose primary purpose is social networking, internet browsing , or viewing cute cats. The goal is to reach internet users where they already spend most of their time while on the internet. Ethan Zuckerman explains why digital activists use mainstream social media, rather than specialized platforms and tools. Activists are using sites where people mainly share pictures of ‘cute cats’, because that is where the people are, and it’s the best way to get them involve. It is more difficult to engage people, or call them to action, when you first have to bring them to a specialized platform. When a gouvenment blocks content from a website or blocks the entire site, the people posting pictures of cute cats get curious as to why it was blocked and what the content was about. This leads viewers to gain interest in what activists have to say as it is a way to let activists inform viewers about what is happening in their country.

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