Twitter for Marginalized Peoples Around the World

Social media guru Laura Fitton on her blog wrote about giving access to social media, namely Twitter to marginalized people around the world.

One of my wilder ideas is this: bring mobile social networking to marginalized groups of people to help them connect more conveniently at least to one another, and ultimately to resources and people wherever they happen to be in the world. Matthew Bennett’s question in the @Israelconsulate Twitter press conference on Gaza just brought it back up for me:

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We KNOW that social connections broaden horizons of opportunity. Integrating more and new connections into everyday routines using commonly available tools like mobile phones make those connections more readily available for help, support and having questions answered when and where it needed. It weaves a new fabric of interdependence, access and support.

I want to launch a project to give prostitutes and other sex workers mobile access to Twitter, and I don’t mean to improve the effectiveness of their marketing. This came to me as I sadly watched the fifth mobile billboard (girls to your room in 20 minutes!) pass while waiting to cross “the strip” in Vegas this year. I turned to my friend Howard and just blurted it out “I want to get hookers onto Twitter.”

Now, I understand where Laura’s coming from. I do think that everyone should have access to the same tools for communication as we do who are more fortunate, but though it would be an interesting social experiment to give prostitutes access to Twitter, don’t you think that if they wanted this access (especially in Las Vegas where they probably net a lot of Casino winnings) they would. I wonder if there is a clause in the Terms of Service blocking this.

Yet on a more larger scale, the question asked by Matthew Bennett of the Israeli consulate in New York about broadband access to those in Gaza really hits home.
Even with the emergence of new forms of communication, those in impoverished areas still don’t have access to these resources to have their voices heard.

Now, I have a clear view on the conflict in Israel, and I’m choosing to leave it out, but regardless of who is right in this situation everyone should have a chance to have their voices heard. The problem is in the implementation and dispersion of these technologies.

How can we do this? I’d like to hear your thoughts. Post them below.

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