Humanitarian Humor, Digilantism, and the Dilemmas of Representing Volunteer Tourism on Social Media

Kaylan C. Schwarz*, Lisa Ann Richey

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


How is volunteer tourism practice portrayed and policed in an online setting? First, this article describes three humanitarian-themed campaigns - Radi-Aid on YouTube, Humanitarians of Tinder on Tumblr, and Barbie Savior on Instagram - to consider the ways edgy humor might be employed to rebuke and resolve problematic humanitarian practices as well as representations of the African “other” and the humanitarian self. Second, through an inspection of repeated semi-structured interviews and visual content uploaded to Facebook, this article shows how a group of UK-based international volunteers took measures to avoid “stereotypical” volunteer photography (embracing children, selfies) when communicating their experiences in Kenya to a public audience, determined to avoid the scrutiny of “in the know” audience members. We consider these counter-narratives in light of Jane’s concept of “digilantism,” an emerging style of networked response to injustice.
TidsskriftNew Media and Society
Udgave nummer9
Sider (fra-til)1928-1946
Antal sider19
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2019

Bibliografisk note

Published online: 3. April 2019


  • Digilantism
  • Humanitarianism
  • Humor
  • International volunteering
  • Parody
  • Photography
  • Representation
  • Self-presentation
  • Social media
  • Volunteer tourism