According to a study, "Liking" or "following" a page on the social networking site Facebook is a new form of humanitarian support and civic engagement.
Petter Bae Brandtzaeg and Ida Maria Haugstveit of Scandinavian research organization SINTEF in Oslo, Norway, surveyed more than 400 Facebook users about their habits on the site and their propensity to "like" a particular humanitarian cause or organization.
The research team asked the users questions related to activity in Facebook. The team found that there were essentially six different liking practices associated with humanitarian causes, which are socially responsible liking, emotional liking, informational liking, social performative liking, low-cost liking and routine liking on Facebook.
Many Facebook users in this sample believed that 'liking' a humanitarian cause could make a difference and this was strengthened by the fact that socially responsible 'liking' was the most common motivation and for the perceived motivation for liking a humanitarian cause, said Brandtzaeg