Social Media Reflects Social Divisions

July 25, 2009 by Jill Garvey · Comment
Filed under: American Identity 

Today I participated in a new media panel at the National Council of La Raza’s (NCLR) annual conference with esteemed experts Edmundo Rocha, Kety Esquivel, and Murray Mann. While we tried to cover a wide range of topics from the basic to the advanced, I found the topic of social divisions continued to come up.

As we seek to navigate rapidly changing technologies and social formations online, there are a few things to consider. Just because we are all communicating from behind computer screens doesn’t mean we are suddenly color blind. In fact, bigotry can flourish and spread online in a way that it never could before. Social networking has not become the great unifying force that some predicted. Studies and frankly a little bit of common sense have shown that between the two major social networking sites, Myspace and Facebook, there are deep cultural, class, and color divides.

Read more

Social Networking: A Place for Hate?

May 19, 2009 by Guest Blogger · Comment
Filed under: Culture 

by Nora Flanagan

In 2000, HBO produced a documentary chronicling the capitalization of the internet’s exponential growth by hate groups in America. Hate.com, narrated by Southern Poverty Law Center founder Morris Dees, exposed hate groups’ online efforts to the wide audience provided by the piece’s frequent broadcast on HBO. Millions of youth, parents, educators and activists gained a better understanding of the power of the web as a recruiting tool for organized bigots.

Since Hate.com’s 2000 release, internet use has continued to evolve, and hate groups have not been far behind. The explosion of the social networking capacity of the web, often referred to as ‘Web 2.0,’ has been accompanied by organized attempts to expand and recruit for almost every documented hate group in America. In other words, white supremacists are on MySpace, and more than likely, they’d like to be your friend. Read more