This research is an inquiry into how online activism and images
related to immigration justice can be manipulated and used to
harass individuals or groups, spread false information, and incite hate.
Over the span of a week, we collected and analyzed close to one
million tweets related to the ongoing, contentious immigration debate
in the United States and identified trends and case studies of image
appropriation and re-contextualization patterns on social media.
We enriched this analysis through interviews with WITNESS’
immigrant rights partners, which further demonstrate how the fight
for social justice has both benefited and been disrupted from social media.
This study contributes new knowledge with regards to the negative impact of digital content manipulation on the narratives surrounding immigrants and refugees within the United States.