Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Hashtag Activism: The Ethics of Online Campaigns

By Irina Raicu and Miriam Schulman

An interview on hashtag activism and its ethical ramifications, including an exploration of #BringBackOurGirls and #YesAllWomen. Miriam Schulman, assistant director, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University, CA, talks with Irina Raicu, the Center's director of Internet Ethics. You can follow Irina on Twitter, @iethics, and the Ethics Center @mcaenews.

The "Bring Back Our Girls" and "Yes All Women" campaigns are discussed in terms of their relevance, impact, and ultimate goals. The credibility of these campaigns ultimately rests with their creators and how close they are to the issues, particularly in terms of expertise, accuracy, and reliability. The obvious question is: are these campaigns just window dressing, or are we bringing real awareness and calls to action to the forefront? What lessons can be learned from them, and what does the future hold in terms of social media campaigns and political issues? Is hashtag activism just a fad?

Irina Raicu is the Internet ethics director at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

Miriam Schulman is the assistant director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

June 2014


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