Immigrant rights is fairly new to the social media sphere hence many pro-migrant organizations are still trying to gain a foothold online. Twitter is the social network of choice for pro-migrant advocates. While technology is supposedly the ‘great equalizer, Twitter is getting more exclusive by allowing users to filter ‘noise’ through the creation of lists.
Lists are useful if one uses Twitter online. They are particularly useful to curate during live streams and events. However, lists can invite drama at times; 140 character twidramas that are sometimes quite fun to follow. Just imagine if someone excludes you from a list that you should be listed in while putting you in some other category:
@anonymous You removed me from your immigrant rights list! What do you know about immigrants and our rights?
@desidyke You talk too much about Fiji and gay rights. I’ll put you in some other category. Maybe the ‘rainbow coalition?’
@anonymous Don’t! The state already does so. I don’t want to be categorized by you too!
Even a change in how the United States chooses to arbitrary categorize human beings and shift us around may cause drama:
@dreamact Why did you remove me from your DREAM Act list?!
@exdreamie Didn’t you get your asylum application approved last month? You are no longer an undocumented youth!
@dreamact But I can’t apply for a green-card for another year! I can still be deported if things change in my country. I am still eligible!
@exdreamie I’ll have to review this new information and get back to you.
@dreamact What? Stop acting like USCIS on Twitter!
@exdreamie I can’t even if I tried. They haven’t twittered for four months now. Too busy with lawsuits.
Granted, the second bit was just for humor that I can envision sometime in the near future. However, I have actually seen people whine about what lists should be renamed and what categories certain people should be placed in. Lists give us all an opportunity to ‘box’ people in without requiring permission from them. That is why it presents us with a great opportunity to locate and question the prejudices of others while rethinking our own classifications.
Just last week I was pondering why @DreamAct was only listed under Latinos and not Asian, Pacific Islander and Blacks. It raised questions about both our marketing and outreach and the assumptions of the person categorizing us as such.
For now, here are some of the best twitter lists for immigration rights advocates in social media, in no particular order:
Dream Act Students (Dreamact)
Immigrant Rights (Willcoley)
Racial Justice (Mikhail)
Human Rights (JonHutson)
If you have a pro-migrant immigration-related list, please share the link here.
(Image courtesy: DreamActivist Flickr Photostream CC Attribute)