Global Digital Activism Data Set, 2013 (ICPSR 34625)

Published: Jun 12, 2014

Principal Investigator(s):
Mary Joyce, University of Washington; António Rosas, Universidade Aberta (Portugal); Philip N. Howard, University of Washington

Version V2

The Global Digital Activism Data Set (GDADS), released February 2013 by the Digital Activism Research Project (DARP) at the University of Washington in Seattle, features coded cases of online digital activism from 151 countries and dependent territories. Several features from each case of digital activism were documented, including the year that online action commenced, the country of origin of the initiator(s), the geographic scope of their campaign, and whether the action was online only, or also featured offline activities. Researchers were interested in the number and types of software applications that were used by digital activists. Specifically, information was collected on whether software applications were used to circumvent censorship or evade government surveillance, to transfer money or resources, to aid in co-creation by a collaborative group, or for purposes of networking, mobilization, information sharing, or technical violence (destructive/disruptive hacking). The collection illustrates the overall focus of each case of digital activism by defining the cause advanced or defended by the action, the initiator's diagnosis of the problem and its perceived origin, the identification of the targeted audience that the campaign sought to mobilize, as well as the target whose actions the initiators aimed to influence. Finally, each case of digital activism was evaluated in terms of its success or failure in achieving the initiator's objectives, and whether any other positive outcomes were apparent.

Joyce, Mary, Rosas, António, and Howard, Philip N. Global Digital Activism Data Set, 2013. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2014-06-12.

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote
Papua New Guinea Cambodia Paraguay Kazakhstan Syria Solomon Islands Bahamas Gibralter Montserrat Marshall Islands Mali Panama Guadeloupe Virgin Islands of the United States Laos Argentina Falkland Islands Seychelles Zambia Belize Bahrain Guinea-Bissau Namibia Finland Comoros Faroe Islands Yemen Puerto Rico Eritrea China (Peoples Republic) Madagascar Aruba Ivory Coast Libya Western Samoa Sweden Malawi Andorra Liechtenstein Poland Jordan Bulgaria Tunisia Channel Islands United Arab Emirates Tuvalu Kenya French Polynesia Lebanon Brunei Djibouti Cuba Azerbaijan Czech Republic Mauritania Saint Lucia Mayotte Israel San Marino Australia Bonaire Tajikistan Myanmar Cameroon Cyprus Northern Mariana Islands Bermuda Islands Malaysia Iceland Global Oman Armenia Gabon Luxembourg Brazil Turks and Caicos Islands Algeria Slovenia Antigua and Barbuda Colombia Ecuador Moldova Vanuatu Italy Honduras Micronesia (Federated States) Nauru Haiti Afghanistan Burundi Singapore French Guiana American Samoa Vatican City Russia Netherlands Martinique Saint Pierre and Miquelon Kyrgyzstan Reunion Bhutan Romania Togo Philippines Uzbekistan Democratic Republic of Congo British Virgin Islands Zimbabwe Montenegro Indonesia Dominica Benin Angola Sudan East Timor Saba Portugal New Caledonia Grenada Greece Cayman Islands Latvia Mongolia Iran Morocco Bosnia-Hercegovina Guatemala Guyana Iraq Chile Nepal Georgia (Republic) Isle of Man Ukraine Tanzania Ghana Anguilla India Canada Maldives Turkey Belgium Trinidad and Tobago Central African Republic Jamaica Peru Turkmenistan Germany Vietnam (Socialist Republic) Fiji Tokelau United States Guinea Somalia Chad Sao Tome and Principe Thailand Equatorial Guinea Kiribati Costa Rica Pitcairn Island Kuwait Nigeria Croatia Sri Lanka Uruguay Cook Islands United Kingdom Switzerland Spain Palestine Venezuela Liberia Burkina Faso Swaziland Palau Estonia Wallis and Futuna Niue South Korea Austria Mozambique El Salvador Monaco Guam Lesotho Tonga Hungary Japan Belarus Curacao Mauritius Albania Norfolk Island New Zealand Senegal Macedonia Ethiopia Egypt Sierra Leone Bolivia Malta Saudi Arabia Cape Verde Saint Eustatius Pakistan Gambia Ireland Qatar Slovakia France Serbia Lithuania Saint Kitts-Nevis Niger Rwanda Bangladesh Nicaragua Barbados Norway Botswana Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Denmark Dominican Republic Uganda Mexico Suriname Saint Helena Greenland


1982 -- 2012

2010 -- 2012

Dataset 2: Case Sources has not been processed by ICPSR; the original Excel spreadsheet deposited by the Principal Investigator has been included with this release.

For more information on the Digital Activism Research Project and the Global Digital Activism Data Set, please visit the Digital Activism Research Project Web site.

Through GDADS and associated works, DARP aims to study the effect of digital technology on civic engagement, nonviolent protest, and political change around the world.

The GDADS contains three sets of data: (1) Coded Cases, (2) Case Sources, and (3) Coded Cases 2.0. The Coded Cases dataset contains 1179 coded cases of digital activism from 1982 through 2012. The Case Sources dataset is an original deposited Excel document that contains source listings from all cases documented by researchers, including those that were ultimately excluded from the original Coded Cases dataset. Coded Cases 2.0 contains 426 additional cases from 2010 through 2012; these cases were treated with a revised coding scheme and an extended review process. GDADS was assembled with the following inclusion criteria: cases needed to exhibit either (1) an activism campaign with at least one digital tactic, or (2) an instance of online discourse aimed at achieving social or political change, and (3) needed to be described by a reliable third party source. In addition to these inclusion criteria, researchers required that the digital activism be initiated by a traditional civil society organization, such as a nongovernmental organization or a nonprofit, or by the collaborative effort of one or more citizens. Digital activism cases initiated by governments or for-profit entities were not included in the collection. The data were assembled by a team of volunteers searching Web sites that are known to document global digital activism; researchers also collected data from peer reviewed journal articles that included digital activism case studies.

Dataset 1: Coded Cases, contains the entire collection of coded cases, according to the inclusion criteria, for 1982-2009, but is incomplete for 2010-2012. Dataset 2: Case Sources, is an original deposited Excel document that contains links and citations used to code dataset 1 cases, plus 166 cases collected but not included in dataset 1. Dataset 3: Coded Cases 2.0, contains additional cases using purposive, multi-source, multilingual, sampling. For more information on sampling, please refer to the Methodology section in the ICPSR Codebooks.

Global occurrences of online digital activism and journal article case studies of digital activism from 1982 through 2012.

digital activism case study (narrative description of an instance of digital activism)

event/transaction data

mixed mode



2014-06-12 The collection has been updated with file set 3, Coded Cases 2.0, which contains additional cases that use an updated coding scheme.

2013-06-10 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

This data collection does not feature a weighting scheme.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

ICPSR logo

This study is provided by ICPSR. ICPSR provides leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for a diverse and expanding social science research community.