An very interesting article was posted in c’t about scientific statistics about the decline of tangible activism and demonstrations. The reason for online „slacktivism“ seams to be a preference for social visibility and a correlating indulgence user feel when having „done something“ when clicking on a „like“ button or signing a online-petition. The problem is that real tangible and monetary help falls short with this kind of behavior. Another downside is the high dispersal in online activism as a broad range of services compete for the users attention. Many of whom are not officially recognized by state-officials or suffer from a lack of further political consequences.
To sum up this up … use online petitions to raise awareness but place a strong call to action on traditional means of support with donations, tangible goods and actual physical presence (like demonstrations and actions).
Slacktivism (a portmanteau of slacker and activism) is the practice of supporting a political or social cause by means such as social media or online petitions, characterized as involving very little effort or commitment. Additional forms of slacktivism include engaging in online activities such as "liking," "sharing," or "tweeting" about a cause on social media, signing an Internet petition, copying and pasting a status or message in support of the cause, sharing specific hashtags associated with the cause, or altering one's profile photo or avatar on social network services to indicate solidarity.
Critics of slacktivism suggest that it fails to make a meaningful contribution to an overall cause because a low-stakes show of support online is superficial, ineffective, and serves as a substitute for more substantive forms of activism rather than supplementing them. As groups increasingly use social media to facilitate civic engagement and collective action, proponents of slacktivism have pointed out that it can lead to engagement and help generate support for lesser-known causes.
Definition from Wikipedia – Slacktivism