Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Facebook Savvy Migrants? Research Notes from the U.S.-Mexico Border by Bryce Newell


This post from The Information discusses some initial findings from an on-going research project by authors Bryce Newell and Ricardo Gomez about the use of Facebook by undocumented/irregular migrants from Mexico and Central America:

"Although these findings are only preliminary, and we are continuing to gather data, we do see evidence that Facebook is being utilized by migrants, along with other forms of communication (e.g. phones, text-messaging). Additionally, quite a few migrants who had not used Facebook in the past expressed interest in using it in the future, citing conversations with other migrants who were using the social media website more actively. The availability of Facebook in migrant shelters throughout Mexico (which is mixed) may also contribute to the phenomenon. Regardless, Facebook presents some valuable opportunities to migrants to find information and connect with family members or others (coyotes?), but could also pose some risks. Unsecured access points could open up personal and family contact information to traffickers, much like they have historically re-dialed previous calls from public phone booths or stolen paper-based contact lists."


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