The Anti-Migrant Online Machine

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Migrant advocates realize that online opposition is strong, but I don't think everyone realizes just how sophisticated and efficient the online anti-migrant hate machine is. 

I spent almost all of last week doing work around the DREAM Act.  A lot of the work I did was dedicating Youtube videos to key Senators that will decide the fate of the DREAM Act.  By the way if you have a second, today, call the following senators:

Murkowski (R-AK) 202-244-6665
Stevens (R-AK) 202-224-3004
Pryor (D-AR) 202-224-2353
Martinez (R-FL) 202-224-3041
Inouye (D-HI) 202-224-3934
Brownback (R-KS) 202-224-6521
Landieu (D-LA) 202-224-5824
Collins (R-ME) 202-224-2523
Snowe (R-ME) 202-224-5344
Conrad (D-ND) 202-224-2043
Dorgan (D-ND) 202-224-2551
Dominici (R-NM) 202-224-6621
Voinovich (R-OH) 202-224-3353
Smith (R-OR) 202-224-3753
Graham (R-SC) 202-224-5972
Johnson (D-SD) 202-224-5842
Cornyn (R-TX) 202-224-2934
Warner(R-VA) 202-224-2023
Rockefeller (D-VA) 202-224-6472
All you have to say is "My name is __, and I urge Senator ___ to support the DREAM Act".  Often times, they won't ask you your location.

To get back to my story, while I was uploading my Youtube videos, it didn't take more than 3 views for someone to plant an anti-migrant comment on them.
The first anti-migrant comment I received was from CoxComSucks on the video I dedicated to Senator Ted Stevens. CCS has only watched 14 videos on Youtube and he happened to comment on my video having to do with the DREAM Act.

The second anti-migrant comment I received was from GunnySgtHartman (GSH) on the video I dedicated to Senator Daniel InouyeGSH is obviously a professional that either has a lot of time on his hands or is paid for what he does. All he does is spread anti-migrant hate online with lude language.  Grandmasomecityusa (GMCUSA) followed soon after on the same video thread leading me to believe they are coordinating or are the same person.  Instead of GSH's simple "F the DREAM Act" GMCUSA tried to use logic to discredit the DREAM Act.  Looking up GMCUSA's account, however, reveals he/she is as viciously anti-migrant as GSH.

This was followed by several more anti-migrant comments before my videos even racked up three views.  Some videos are at well over a 100 views, now, but they are forever stained by that anti-migrant filth.  This while pro-migrant advocates do nothing to either defend or support other pro-migrant advocates online.  Anti-migrant advocates are sophisticated and relentless.  I'm sure that some of them are paid to just constantly post anti-migrant views online, but even the ones that aren't paid have trained themselves to espouse their views every time the subject of migration comes up.

It's time that pro-migrant advocates organized themselves in similar ways online.  If you're interested use the contact form.

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yave begnet said:

Anti-migrant advocates are sophisticated and relentless.

Relentless, yes. Sophisticated, not so much, at least if the comments I've encountered on immigration-themed sites are representative. I suppose the overall operation--the house caucus, the websites, the non-profit organizations, the talk radio appearances--is sophisticated, but your average restrictionist comes across as angry and ill-informed. I think your tactic of publicizing some of these more hateful expressions of anti-migrant sentiment is a good one. The more people know about the restrictionist gutter, the less they will sympathize with the underlying policies. Of course, this puts pressure on immigrant advocates to maintain a civil and reasoned discourse in the face of constant restrictionist trolling.

I'm sure that some of them are paid to just constantly post anti-migrant views online

I suppose it's possible, but the more likely explanation is that it's an issue that riles people up and then they vent in online fora. I don't doubt that there are more than enough people willing to write that stuff for free, e.g., Frank the crusading retiree at LatinaLista.

kyledeb said:

Hey Yave,

I'm almost certain that NumbersUSA and FAIR are paying people to, or at least organizing people around an effort to spread anti-migrant hate. At first I thought it was dispersed, too, but after fighting this for over a year and a half it has become clear to me that on certain websites people are on the prowl for every bit of pro-migrant information that comes up. I mean seriously? 3 views on Youtube, on multiple videos? People are looking out for this stuff.

All I can say is that migrants don't have the privilege to be able to sit around on their computers all day and do this sort of thing.

janna said:

"This while pro-migrant advocates do nothing to either defend or support other pro-migrant advocates online."
I have to admit, when I see the hysterical, ignorant comments, I just feel like there's no reaching these people, and I stop reading. Kyle, thanks for the wake-up call - the rally call. You are doing strong, good work, and you deserve our support. You're right, we need to support each other in this fight.
I think we tend to get comfy in our forums, where we are speaking with mostly like-minded people, we can comment without fear, and where we can dismiss those ugly commenters as trolls to be dealt with swiftly, then expelled from our midst. I'm always shocked to read the comments to articles about immigration on mainstream news websites. They're overwhelmingly anti-migrant, and it's always the same tired thing: they deserve whatever they get (as long as it's bad), because they're illegal. That's when I click right on back to my cozy blogs where people are sane and reasonable.
I usually pride myself on stepping so confidently outside my comfort zone, to experience people who are different from me. Rarely, however, do I do that to engage people who vehemently disagree with me. That's got to change now.

kyledeb said:

It's great to get your first comment here, janna. It's also good to know that your there and will help in the online fight that we wage everyday. No need to worry about the need to step back every once in a while. It really isn't healthy to fight this hate and most people can't be reach.

I don't think it's even about engaging people, it's just about fighting the hate and making it known that there are sane good people out there. Plus the other side does it. Through forums like ALIPAC these people wage online war everyday. We need to start doing the same.

Spencer said:

I appreciate the work you do and I agree, it is a good tactic to expose some the hate. I don't think we will ever reach those who are spreading it so it's not worthy of our time to try and combat them one on one, but we can use it against them as we show more moderate folk what they are doing and what they are like. After years of frustration at the growing hate and anti-imigrant attitudes in the Republican Party, I recently decided to enter the rink and become an online advocate myself. Perhaps I am naive, but I still believe a significant portion of Republicans don't favor the direction Fair and the "minutement" are taking the party. We just need to get them passionate and coureagous in their opposition.

kyledeb said:

It's really good to hear from you. It's people like you that make me want to keep this site open and make sure that I engage all types of people. It's good to know that there are Republicans that are willing to stand up to the hate mongering of their elected officials. Please stay in touch, and hopefully we can work together to combat it.

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This page contains a single entry by kyledeb published on October 23, 2007 3:03 PM.

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DREAM Act Fails 52 - 44 is the next entry in this blog.

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