posted on Feb, 8 2014 @ 08:26 PM
I think it's also because nowadays the personal is political.
I'm sure there are animal rights activists who would see this as public heroism, an act of compassion, a blow against speciesism and against cultural
double standards that show women in New Guinea suckling pigs as exotic others.
From that position the photo could certainly bring kudos and praise.
There always has been a blurred line between public activism and exhibitionism, and social media highlights the confessional as a form of activism.
The public confessional has been used before the spread of the Internet as a political act in itself, for example, in religious politics, LGBT
activism (coming out), or to fight silence and stigma around HIV.
This kind of narrative was often crucial for groups to organize politically.
People can use social media to construct their identity as the kind of activist or defender of a cause they would like to see themselves as.
This can be done with posting banners with slogans, clips, petitions, media stories and so forth.
Many people on Facebook are quite consistent with their causes and beliefs, and some may be preaching to the choir or even themselves, but they would
like to win converts, or construct themselves as very courageous to like-minded people.
Such "clicktavism" can have contradictory effects.
If it becomes too radical and constant one may end up only with like-minded people, which doesn't do much for spreading the cause.
It can be seen as rather superficial, or even idiotic if the slogans or stories are constantly based on inventions and hoaxes.
Religious people typing out unwanted prayers for people does seem rather patronizing.
Ultimately everything can become banal in a constant stream of causes and slogans.
On the other hand, why do people show their fetishes on programs like "Taboo", or their private parts and medical conditions on "Embarrassing
There could be financial rewards, a certain amount of self-justification, or a chance to create public awareness and education.
However, there is a wider trend that blurs the lines between the private and the public beyond social media.
While I don't know the exact reasons why she published this on Facebook (whether she found this normal herself, or meant to shock), the pro-animal
groups have reacted positively from what I saw.
Just to say that there may be different cliques on Facebook, but not all of the posters are simply attention whores or vacuous.
Some regard social media as an instant way to represent (although they may misrepresent) a cause.
Negative criticism helps to define the in-group from the out-group, and most groups like to see themselves as slightly persecuted, whether they really
are, or whether they are actually creating negative reactions with their content.
At least in South Africa little causes as much consistent outrage and controversy as the treatment of animals, and hunters have gotten death threats,
and even a girl who was bitten by a dog got threats and the most vicious posts because the dog was detained (there was an online petition to free the
Animal activists are certainly one of the most vocal groups on social media, although one wonders whether they've actually changed anything regarding
the plight of most animals, since they swarm around certain species only, and focus on isolated and debatable cases that makes them out as
anti-humanist at times.
I guess it's also meaning to say: "I'm a good person with a social conscience because I represent this or that cause".