Confronting Prejudice and Discrimination, Chapter 15 - From Pixels to Protest: Using the Internet to Confront Bias at the Societal Level

Elsevier, Confronting Prejudice and Discrimination, 2019, Pages 319-335
Eric M.Gomez and Cheryl R.Kaiser

The Internet has become a powerful platform for social mobilization. In this chapter, we discuss online activism as a method of confronting bias and prejudice (with a focus on sexism) by reviewing some recent real-world examples and scholarship of online activism. Then, we describe how psychological factors can limit the potential success of online activism, such as how bias on the Internet itself may act as a barrier that prevents people from engaging in online activism in the first place, “slacktivism” as a threat to a movement’s long-term success by allowing people to engage in small forms of online activism but disengage from further action, and the pressure to conform to egalitarian norms as a limitation of the strength and authenticity of a movement. Finally, we offer some practical suggestions on how to overcome these limitations.