Global Digital Activism Data Set, 2013 (ICPSR 34625)

Version Date: Jun 12, 2014 View help for published

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

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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. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2014-06-12.

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Papua New Guinea   Cambodia   Paraguay   Kazakhstan   Syria   Solomon Islands   Bahamas   Gibralter   Montserrat   Mali   Marshall Islands   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   Djibouti   Brunei   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   Morocco   Iran   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   Liberia   Venezuela   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   Dominican Republic   Denmark   Mexico   Uganda   Suriname   Saint Helena   Greenland


Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

1982 -- 2012
2010 -- 2012
  1. 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.

  2. 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.


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)


2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Joyce, Mary, António Rosas, and Philip N. Howard. Global Digital Activism Data Set, 2013. ICPSR34625-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2014-06-12.

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.