The role of social media activism in offline conservation attitudes and behaviors

Yanitza Angely Cruz Crespo, Shannon M. Cruz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the face of sharp declines in populations of many bee species, several activists have embraced social media to advocate for their conservation. The efficacy of these efforts in promoting offline behaviors, however, remains unclear. We explored this issue through two studies. First, we examined the content of social media activism by analyzing tweets using #savethebees in the U.S. and worldwide over a one-year period. Second, we examined offline language use, perceptions, and conservation behaviors in a U.S. sample to understand how they were related to engaging with this social media content. Results revealed that overwhelmingly positive language was used to discuss bees via social media, which was mirrored by more positive language use among users. Exposure was also associated with more positive perceptions of bees and greater engagement in conservation behavior. Although they do not provide evidence of causality, the order of effects was consistent with a gateway effect of social media activism, which speaks to the value of additional research on its potential to promote conservation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107858
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
StatePublished - Oct 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • General Psychology

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