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Global Digital Activism Data Set, 2013

Resource Type
Dataset : event/transaction data
  • Joyce, Mary (University of Washington)
  • Rosas, António (Universidade Aberta (Portugal))
  • Howard, Philip N. (University of Washington)
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Free Keywords
activism; blogs; civil disobedience; communications systems; computer related crimes; computer software; computer use; digital communications; human rights; information systems; Internet; nonviolent protest; politics; protest demonstrations; public policy; social activism; social attitudes; social change; social issues; social justice; social media; social movements; social networks; technology
  • Abstract

    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.
  • Abstract

    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.
  • Abstract

    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.
  • Methods

    This data collection does not feature a weighting scheme.
  • Methods

    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..
  • Table of Contents


    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: Coded Cases
    • DS2: Case Sources
    • DS3: Coded Cases 2.0
Temporal Coverage
  • 1982 / 2012
    Time period: 1982--2012
  • 2010 / 2012
    Collection date: 2010--2012
Geographic Coverage
  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • American Samoa
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bermuda Islands
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Bonaire
  • Bosnia-Hercegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Cape Verde
  • Cayman Islands
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Channel Islands
  • Chile
  • China (Peoples Republic)
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Cook Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Curacao
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Denmark
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • East Timor
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia (Republic)
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Gibralter
  • Global
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guadeloupe
  • Guam
  • Guatemala
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Ivory Coast
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Martinique
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia (Federated States)
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Montserrat
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Niue
  • Norfolk Island
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palau
  • Palestine
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Pitcairn Island
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Reunion
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Rwanda
  • Saba
  • Saint Eustatius
  • Saint Helena
  • Saint Kitts-Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • San Marino
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Swaziland
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Syria
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Vatican City
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam (Socialist Republic)
  • Virgin Islands of the United States
  • Wallis and Futuna
  • Western Samoa
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
Sampled Universe
Global occurrences of online digital activism and journal article case studies of digital activism from 1982 through 2012. Smallest Geographic Unit: country
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.
Collection Mode
  • mixed mode

    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.

    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.

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.
This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Alternative Identifiers
  • 34625 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR34625.v2
  • Nalbantoglu, Huseyin Cahit. Digital Activism: Social Movements in the Digital Age. Dissertation, Spalding University. 2014.

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 3 | Registration Date: 2015-07-01

Joyce, Mary; Rosas, António; Howard, Philip N. (2013): Global Digital Activism Data Set, 2013. Version 1. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.