I often feel the need to point out that when I criticize a group to which I belong, I am not exempting myself from that group. So when I talk about male privilege, that is emphatically not a short-hand for “the male privilege that you all have but I don’t because I’m that feministy”. I am the target audience for this blog, meaning that when I reprimanded my fellow settlers in this morning’s post about hijacking the #IdleNoMore movement, I was talking about my own behaviour as well.
I am, as I have admitted before, woefully ignorant about much of the history that underpins the movement, and have only very recently begun to pay attention. This blog actually serves as a living record of that, because I didn’t really start engaging on these issues before I started writing about them here. As a result, I am acutely aware of the fact that I have been, at least up until now (and in many ways probably am still) playing for the wrong team in the fight for justice.
I used to deride Twitter when I first heard about it. After all, the idea seemed profoundly silly and frivolous to me. It wasn’t until the protests in Iran in 2009 that I started to see its value. And while I had an account in August of 2010, I didn’t really start using it in earnest until the start of the Egypt protests in early 2011. Since then, I have found it an invaluable resource for political analysis, a diversity of analysis, and connection to independent media. And yes, while there is a lot of frivolity on Twitter, it is trivially possible to have a substantive and informative Twitter feed. If you’re not on Twitter, but you’re interested in learning more about what’s happening, now is an excellent time to get an account.
This is a long, roundabout way of me saying that a lot of what I know about #IdleNoMore, and about Indigenous issues generally, I learned by listening to people on Twitter, and reading the things that they thought were important to share. I’ve compiled a list of accounts that I think are particularly helpful, and provide a useful variety of perspectives, experiences, and opinions. If you’re on Twitter, check out this list. It’s not necessarily people who talk specifically about #IdleNoMore, but they do provide me with voices that I would otherwise not hear in my day-to-day life.
I would like also to make special mention of an account called âpihtawikosisân (please don’t ask me to pronounce it), who I have found to be a consistently brilliant and fearless advocacy voice, and who is a recent follow for me. She also blogs here and has a familiarity with the relevant history that I find to be incredibly helpful.
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I would love any hints you might have on improving the signal-to-noise ratio on twitter especially for these interesting current-happenings hashtags, even if it’s a mental habit rather than a software/technical thing. I have been on the Internet for 20 damn years and I still can’t make heads or tails of it. Even when I start mucking around with filters in the client I use I swiftly get to the too-much-to-follow point, lose interest, and drop behind.
Then you want to manage the number of accounts you’re following. As much as this runs counter-productive to my “get ALL the followers” goal, you probably wouldn’t want to follow someone like me who tweets constantly. Stick to accounts that hit you with 2-3 tweets a day, that way you don’t get overwhelmed.
If you’re following a hashtag, you’re going to end up getting flooded with new info, and there’s no way to avoid that. One potential strategy is to find those people who work for well-regarded news organizations or whose voices you find particularly helpful, then add those folks to a ‘list’ (separate from the accounts you regularly follow) and monitor that instead. You’ll lose a lot of the quantity without necessarily sacrificing the best quality.
The thing about Twitter is that it is a very drop-in-drop-out medium, so if your goal is to read all of the tweets, you’re going to quickly get overrun with stuff.