This thesis defines the essentials of activism and gives examples of online technology that can assist grassroots organizations in promoting positive change within their communities. I discuss existing online technologies that make it possible for grassroots organizations to enhance the traditional (non-Internet-based) approaches to activism. Online activism is a growing trend among non-profit organizations. Several online awards are given to organizations that have noticeably pursued online pursuit of electronic advocacy. From making telephone calls to organizing demonstrations, grassroots groups can begin saving money, time, and human resources. The Internet frees people from physical barriers and borders. I have investigated current online technologies that can be used to supplement traditional activism services. I give one example per approach that can be used online. The examples include self-education, promoting your organization's message, successful online actions, information distribution, corporate utilization, and the future of online activism. Examples of activism in this report focus on non-violent advocacy or civil disobedience. I have researched online activism through the use of periodicals, books, World Wide Web Internet searches, and interviews with advocacy specialists. This report offers evidence that the Internet has changed, and will continue to change, the paradigm of political and social activism. By providing increased access using new, fast, and efficient technology, more people are able to have a greater say in shaping their worlds.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Information technology--Social aspects; Information technology--Political aspects; Internet--Social aspects; Internet--Social aspects; Internet--Political aspects; Nonprofit organizations--Political activity

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Information Sciences and Technologies (GCCIS)


Jacobs, Stephen

Advisor/Committee Member

Bills, Dianne


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: HM851 .C37 2003


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