hack·​tiv·​ism ˈhak-ti-ˌvi-zəm How to pronounce hacktivism (audio)
: computer hacking (as by infiltration and disruption of a network or website) done to further the goals of political or social activism
Some even speculate that the recent break-in to Microsoft's source code—a serious breach of security—was not industrial espionage but hacktivism.The San Francisco Chronicle
… instruments such as information warfare, cultural manipulation and social media hacktivism being used to achieve foreign policy goals without the use of direct force.Dominic Nicholls
hacktivist noun
plural hacktivists
In May, in the wake of NATO air strikes against Yugoslavia, hacktivists defaced several government Web sites with anti-war graffiti. Vanity Fair
hacktivist adjective
Expect hacktivist groups to support revolutions abroad, but also to assist protest movements here at home. Amy Goodman

Examples of hacktivism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Some caution that hacktivism could lead to unintended escalations or endanger intelligence operations. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, 3 Mar. 2022 The ideological heyday of hacktivism, Green said, was roughly a decade ago, when groups such as Anonymous and LulzSec won attention for their digital assaults on the Church of Scientology and the FBI. Washington Post, 7 Oct. 2021 It’s been one player in a bigger hacktivism surge. Matt Burgess, WIRED, 27 Dec. 2022 So your hacktivism, to get a lot of support, has to be very nonpartisan. Washington Post, 7 Oct. 2021 With inflation and the rising cost of living, the world may witness digital civil disobedience occurring in the form of hacktivism, where citizens attack their own government or infrastructure as a way to stage protests. Stu Sjouwerman, Forbes, 24 Jan. 2023 Governments around the world will be keen to revert to the status quo from before the Russian invasion of Ukraine—and before hacktivism was legitimized. WIRED, 23 Jan. 2023 DDoS attacks still have an outsize place within modern hacktivism. Matt Burgess, WIRED, 27 Dec. 2022 Besides, most of the reports of hacktivism are unverifiable at best. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, 3 Mar. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hacktivism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


blend of hack entry 1 and activism

First Known Use

1992, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hacktivism was in 1992

Dictionary Entries Near hacktivism

Cite this Entry

“Hacktivism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hacktivism. Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

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