While so far social media have been largely constructed as the quintessential tools of collective action and praised for their potential to empower individuals to act as civic agents, this paper foregrounds the tension between expectations created by public discourse and citizens’ own involvement with digital activism. This study adds to an understanding of barriers by examining how they are experienced by participants in mobilizations at the individual level. Looking at how obstacles of digital activism are experienced by citizens reveals the processes through which the structures of digital mediation impose limits over those who depend on them for their organization. By examining three regional Canadian cases, this research discusses the significant barriers mobilizers experience and finds that many of the obstacles organizers face point to an enduring need for a wellorganized, tech-savvy, collaborative network as an organizing body to reflectively handle the challenges posed by digital grassroots civic mobilization.

Mediation, collective action, civic activism, digital activism, social media
dx.doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2019.1618891, hdl.handle.net/1765/123750
Information, Communication and Society (online)
Department of Media and Communication

Dumitrica, D, & Felt, M. (2019). Mediated Grassroots Collective Action: Negotiating Barriers of Digital Activism. Information, Communication and Society (online). doi:10.1080/1369118X.2019.1618891