Social Campaigns on Online Platforms as a New Form of Public Sphere in Digital Era: A Critical Review

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Candidate in Information Technology Management, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

2 Professor of Information Systems, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

3 Associate Professor of Public Administration, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

4 Associate Professor of Information Systems, Faculty of Management and Economics, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.


Nowadays with the ever-increasing growth in social media platforms and the creation of different forms of online activism, the word known as “Campaign” has become a familiar and useful term in people’s everyday lives. Campaigns with all kinds of social aims especially using Hashtags are run on social media platforms by individuals, charities, NGOs, governments, municipalities and brand companies and with peoples' participation and value co-creation, appropriate results are achieved and the desired changes are made in people’s attitudes and the behavior of individuals, businesses, or governments. Therefore, there seems to be a new form of a virtual public sphere where there is action, dialog and social mobilization, which leads to the formation of public opinion and social change in the digital era. In this paper, using a critical review method, we are going to investigate a public sphere's literature and study its core features (1. access, 2. dialog, 3. action, and 4. public opinion) in digital campaigns and online platforms. Then, in the last part, we are going to map those in a real case study in order to further clarify the arguments and show how social campaigns on online platforms contribute to the formation of a public sphere in the digital era.


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