Experimental digital playground
Computer technology has changed the way that immigrants interact across borders. The expansion of social media means new types of interactions in which immigrants engage, including the exchange of sensitive information. The growth of anti-immigrant policies, nativist public discourse, and use of surveillance technologies by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in recent years have only deepened this fear and mistrust. This research will build and expand upon my undergraduate honors thesis to now focus on the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, and how the new surveillance policies and tactics enacted by the Trump administration have affected immigrant online communities. I will be drawing on data that I have already collected, as well as new coded datasets, which I will be compiling to employ a comparative and longitudinal approach. With this methodology, I will ethnographically capture and critically analyze not only the changes that these communities continue to experience, but also what are the privacy and security implications of Big Data surveillance in everyday life.
Research Questions: How have radical policy changes following the election of Donald J. Trump affected 1st generation undocumented immigrant communities on Facebook? How are immigrant communities online responding to the age of Big Data and mass surveillance? How can we best assess changing patterns of Facebook use alongside increasing computer surveillance?