I'm looking for a word to call a person who uses a social cause as an excuse to publicly do something exceptional he loves, and who disguises its self-serving motivation behind this fake altruistic goal.

"I've painted this work of art / I'm traveling around the world on foot [I have a lot of fun doing that / I gain status / money] to sensitize against poverty / weather warming..."

Side note: you could also propose a words or expression that is used very locally (it's forbidden to ask for a new word on this forum, since according to @chappo "there can be no objective and authoritative solution" for it).

The word should specifically target actions that :

  • are exceptional (even a little)

  • attract the gaze of the public

  • are presented as something altruistic

So this question isn't a duplicate of these which target very broad (or other) concepts:

These don't fit (too broad or only describe a part of it):

  • virtue signaling

  • slacktivism (doesn't fit, but it's the kind of creative word I'm looking for: it's fun, and you don't need to know it to understand what it means)


Performative, Sanctimonious or Bad-Faith activism might convey the meaning intended

  • Thanks! +1 for Sanctimonious! It only miss a point : it must specifically target exceptional actions. Sensational sanctimonious activism does work though (I'm not fan of bad-faith since it implies an awareness of the problem. And performative is hard to understand) – JinSnow Sep 25 '19 at 4:54

This might fit:

sensational self-serving activism (in short sensa-self'activism ― which isn't really short)

(It's just an idea, better proposition are welcomed)

Other ideas:

  • sensational slacktivism

  • extreme slacktivism

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