Hacktivism (a portmanteau of hack and activism) is the use of computers and computer networks to promote political ends, chiefly free speech, human rights, and information ethics. It is carried out under the premise that proper use of technology can produce results similar to those of conventional acts of protest, activism, and civil disobedience.
The term was coined in 1996 by a Cult of the Dead Cow member known as "Omega". However, similar to its root word hack, hacktivism is an ambiguous term (computer hacking is tied to several meanings).
The terms hacktivism and hacktivist are the subject of lexical warfare to define them. Some definitions of these terms include acts of cyberterrorism while others stop with the use of technology hacking to effect social change.