Photo via Farm Sanctuary
In Friday’s weekend activist link roundup, I included a piece by Tracy @ Digging Through the Dirt, Use Twitter to Advocate on Behalf of Pigs. Tracy put out a call to animal advocates to tweet in support of the pigs on Sunday the 16th, for example, by including links to undercover investigations of factory farm operations, talking about the swine flu, encouraging people to go vegan for the animals, etc., etc., etc.. In order to piggyback (pun intended) on the anticipated success of the animal ag. propagandists, all tweets needed to include the hashtag #oink.
I’ll let Tracy explain:
Animal exploiters on Twitter hope history repeats itself Sunday.
On Aug. 2 a group of dairy farmers worked to make “#moo” a trending topic on the social-networking site. They want to do the same for “#oink” on Sunday.
With “#oink” a trending topic, those in animal agribusiness want to convince people to call swine flu “H1N1.”
If the “farmers” succeed, animal advocates can use this opportunity to raise awareness of the suffering pigs endure in agribusiness.
If enough people use a word, phrase or hashtag, said word, phrase or hashtag will appear in all Twitter users’ right-hand sidebars, under the headline “Trending Topics.” These are fluid and change on a constant basis; while some topics, such as “American Idol” or “Les Paul” are rather intuitive, others – like #moo and #oink – are less so. Whether they’re familiar with the topics or not, many Twitter users look to the Trending Topics as a guide or sort of news ticker, clicking through to weigh in on a topic, or to see what all the fuss is about.
Animal exploiters (along with other spammers), then, hijack the Trending Topics tool in order to disseminate their industry propaganda. Whereas animal exploiters hoped to “educate” Twitter users about the safety of “pork,” extol the virtues of “happy meat,” and frame the debate about swine flu/H1N1, the goal of animal advocates was to counter their message with a healthy dose of reality.
(For more on Twitter, trending topics, etc. check out this Twitter FAQ.)
I’m not a big Twitter user – the 140 character limit is enough to make me pull my hair out – but I was vaguely aware of the #moo movement. So with the advance notice about Sunday’s planned #oink takeover, I pledged to participate this time around. To make things even easier, I developed a list of Tweets and links the day beforehand, since I knew I’d be in and out of the house on Sunday. (It’s a good thing, too, since my Internet connection was spotty throughout the day on Sunday.) I added to the list, which I stored in a Word doc, throughout the day on Sunday, mostly by copying and pasting RT’s – re-tweets, that is, tweets from other animal advocates on Twitter, which I “crossposted” on my own account. I also kept an eye on the Trending Topics and adapted my hashtags as necessary. (For example, #fact became a Trending Topic later in the day, so I added it to #oink where appropriate.) Every two, ten, twenty or 120 minutes, I’d post a tweet or two, then go back to whatever it was I was doing.
Other animal advocates were even more engaged, for example, responding to followers who wanted to know what all the #oink-ing was all about, arguing directly with animal exploiters, and providing further information to those interested in a vegan diet. Stephanie at Change.org falls into the first category, and has an excellent write-up of her online animal activism over the weekend” “Vick, Dogs, Dairy, Cows, Pigs, Twitter, and the Rape Rack,” Parts One and Two. Tracy also summarizes her experience here.
In a related note, Happy Herbivore is using Twitter hashtags in a different way. In a new section of the website called Weekly Eats, HH will feature recipes submitted by Twitter users, with a different theme for each day: “meatless Mondays, tofu Tuesdays, raw Wednesdays, tempeh Thursdays, fat-free (or gluten-free, if you prefer) Fridays, seasonal Saturdays and seiten Sundays!” To participate, you can either tweet about your recipe or meal idea, or email your submissions to HH directly. Try to use the hashtags #vegan and #meatlessmonday (or wev) – ‘twould be awesome to see #vegan elevated to a Trending Topic! Or keep an eye on existing Trending Topics, and tweet about your animal advocacy using existing popular hashtags where appropriate.
After the jump are my tweets for Sunday. Because I’ve more or less abandoned my other blog, I set up my delicious and Twitter accounts to post digests of each day’s activities to Smite Me!. So that’s how I came up with a nice lil’ roundup of Sunday’s #oink tweets, just in case y’all are wondering.
Before we begin, I should note that the @AFBFMace RT is a fake (re-)tweet. A fake tweet is akin to a deliberate misquote, or a quote that’s wholly fabricated (or, in this case, a tweet that’s wholly fabricated). In a word, it’s libel. It’s a big no-no, and could result in suspension of your account. I deleted the fake tweet from the digest that was posted to Smite Me!, but included it here as a word of warning.
While I didn’t create the fake tweet, I did inadvertently retweet it (I don’t want to single anyone out, but you can determine who initially used the fake tweet with Twitter’s search tool; I was the last to RT the fake tweet, about 12 hours after it first appeared). Several pro-“meat” users called me out on the fake tweet, and when I realized my mistake, I immediately apologized. (To be fair, all but one of the users were quite nice once I explained and apologized for the mistake.)
So please, use some real-world common sense when engaging with social media to further your cause. Intellectual dishonesty and outright lying do nothing to boost our credibility. Plus, you could land yourself, as well as other users, in trouble with the media site, if not the libeled individual/corporation/organization.
- Okay, I’m done. Headed to bed. #oink, oink my vegan sisters & brothers! #
- RT @veganinbrighton: Pigs are cleaner than you think, social creatures, & more intelligent than your dog! #oink #fact #
- RT @choosevegan: want to see how “humane” pig slaughter is? Watch inside a “humane” slaughterhouse: http://bit.ly/61ouC #oink #fact #
- RT @AFBFMace Pigs live in filthy, unsafe environments with a miserable death guaranteed. #oink http://bit.ly/15NKSx #fact #
- RT @diggingTTdirt Michael Vick killed dogs, so does animal ag. Show u care about animals by not eating them. ChooseVeg.com #oink #fact #
- Pigs and dogs are so much alike that they can make hybrid babies! My O-Ren is a dog w/piggy bits! http://bit.ly/mnhH3 #oink #fact #
- RT @veganza: Can you help? Getting a count of atheists on twitter by hashtag! If you’re an atheist, RT this whole message #atheist #
- RT @Lindsey_http://twitpic.com/e51mj – See pigs as more than a meal #oink http://www.tryveg.com #
- Smarter Than a Three-Year-Old Child: http://bit.ly/9guO2 #oink #fact #swineflu #
- This is where “pork” comes from: http://bit.ly/l0FGH #oink #fact #swineflu #
- Swine Flu, Religious Discrimination & the Killing of Egypt’s Pigs http://bit.ly/l9N3y #oink #swineflu #fact #
- Egypt’s Pigs: Beaten, Stoned, & Burned Alive Amid Swine Flu Fears http://bit.ly/YqIIE #oink #swineflu #fact #
- Emily Deschanel knows pig “meat” isn’t green – vegan eats are! http://bit.ly/BzOBz #oink #fact #swineflu #
- Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan positive for swine flu. http://bit.ly/XlvcS #oink #fact #swineflu #
- Swine flu has killed 477 Americans; be patriotic, go vegan! http://bit.ly/YgZhW #oink #fact #swineflu #
- RT @choosevegan: pigs are smarter than dogs. #fact. why love one but eat the other? #oink #swineflu #
- RT @FARMUSA: Support pork “producers”? I’d rather support PIGS – by not eating them. #oink #swineflu #fact #
- Down On Old McDonald’s Factory Farm – http://bit.ly/FkK9f – #oink #fact #swineflu #
- If pigs are “horizontal humans,” sows are horizontal women (& piglets, horizontal babies): http://bit.ly/ZQ73i #oink #feminism #
- Porcine love is a beautiful thing!: http://bit.ly/lABpK #oink #fact #swineflu #
- RT @veganwordnerd RT @lisarimm: I’ll call it H1N1 when you call it “dead pig” instead of “pork.” #oink #fact #swineflu #
- RT @20knotgirl In nature, pigs live for 15 yrs, but pigs on factory farms are sent to slaughter after just six months of life. #oink #fact #
- #fact Smart Bacon – just 45 calories & 2 grams of fat per serving! http://bit.ly/cVl1i #oink #
- RT @MissAnthropy15: #oink http://twitpic.com/e4kzr #
- RT @diggingTTdirt: See what happens to pigs on a daily basis #oink: http://tinyurl.com/pmuul3 #fact #swineflu #
- Moms, if u dislike breastfeeding ur babes in bathroom stalls, imagine how these mothers & babies feel http://bit.ly/3L7xss #oink #feminism #
- RT @veganorama Pork: the other dead animal. It’s not an alternative to chicken or turkey; it’s an alternative to a live animal. #oink #fact #
- Madonna and child: http://bit.ly/b2FlJ #oink #swineflu #
- Hungry piglets nurse from their mom, as it should be: http://bit.ly/fe56v #oink #swineflu #
- Swine flu esp. deadly to indigenous people – http://bit.ly/X6VLn – speciesism, colonialism & racism, #oink! #swineflu #fact #
- RT @vegan_one Free Copy of “Introduction to Animal Rights” For Donating to Peaceful Prairie http://tumblr.com/xvy2p3q5z #oink #contest #
- RT @veggietweets Facts about pork that you may not have known: http://bit.ly/RvTlk and http://bit.ly/Iwyne #oink #fact #swineflu #
- RT @vegan_one: Every piece of bacon, every cut of ham, every bit of pork was once part of a living, feeling, thinking being. #oink #fact #
- Fight for mothers’ rights – go #vegan! http://bit.ly/ZQ73i #oink #swineflu #feminism #
- Swine flu symptoms: fever, body aches, chills, fatigue vomiting, diarrhea & DEATH! #oink #fact #swineflu #
- Headed to a library book sale now; hope to find some animal-friendly books & #vegan cookbooks. #Oink! #
- RT @vegtv Justifying a fault doubles it. French Proverb http://www.quoteactions.com #oink #swineflu #
- RT @mary_martin I wonder what goes thru the mind of a person as they kill another sentient being? #oink #
- RT @diggingTTdirt: I support farmers who grow crops, not those who kill animals. Visit ChooseVeg.com for more info. #oink #swineflu #
- RT @TheVeganRD: If you can watch & listen to this & still eat pork, you must have a heart of stone. http://bit.ly/Iwyne #oink #swineflu #
- In the kyriarchy, women = animals = meat. Opt out, ladies – go #vegan! http://www.goveg.com #oink #swineflu #feminism #
- Do these babies look like “meat” to you? http://bit.ly/jYwiP #oink #swineflu #
- “Pigs, who died in transit, dumped behind a truck at the slaughterhouse.” http://bit.ly/8bpJ #oink #fact #
- Taking a shower now; hope to wash to stink of all this animal ag. propaganda from my self. #oink #
- Happy pigs live at sanctuaries – not on farms: http://bit.ly/qfPK0 #oink #swineflu #fact #
- Having #vegan cinnamon sugar oatmeal w/dried blueberries, cranberries & cherries for breakfast. The pigs #oink in delight! #
- RT @wellonwheels All animals feel pain. See Babe’s true story http://www.chooseveg.com/pigs.asp #oink #fact #
- #Prochoice? #fact – Pigs don’t decide to die for your dinner plate. Choose to go vegan, #oink! http://www.goveg.com #
- RT @FARMUSA:Pop quiz! Would pigs rather be eaten after A) living in factory farm, B) living on “family” farm, or C) None of the above? #oink #
- 100 million pigs are birthed & murdered every year in the US alone: http://bit.ly/RvTlk #oink #fact #swineflu #
- RT @choosevegan China, Russia, Thailand, the Philippines and United Arab Emirates have all banned imports of US pork due to Swine Flu #oink #
- Loving pigs means never wanting to slaughter them for your dinner plate. #oink #swineflu #fact #
- RT @TheShellyfish Each snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty. —Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, Polish poet & aphorist (1909–1966) #oink #fact #
- And this little pig sang to the moon!: http://bit.ly/18vUEv #oink #fact #swineflu #
- They were only six months old: http://bit.ly/lWHpm #oink #fact #swineflu #
- RT@veganwordnerd #oink? Agribusiness is trying to increase profit from killing; animal lovers are speaking up for pigs http://bit.ly/3CPjgb #
- Happy pigs come from Colorado!: http://bit.ly/aMTAu #oink #
- Joan Jett thinks pigs are for cuddling, not eating. http://bit.ly/3QCEP #oink #
- H1N1 is now a trending topic; should we add #swineflu to our #oink tag &/ start mentioning swine flu, ppls? Pls RT! #vegan #
- Mexican state postpones school start because of swine flu fears – http://bit.ly/ETRT7 – #oink #
- YouTube H1N1 videos: http://bit.ly/13xvHZ Let’s all call it SWINE FLU. #oink #
- Had potato soup for dinner last night, topped w/Smart Bacon. Was delicious, & no pigs had to die for my gastrointestinal pleasure! #oink #
- Do you know where your “pork” comes from? http://bit.ly/FkK9f #oink #
- Animal advocates – are you #oink -ing for the pigs today? http://bit.ly/3CPjgb #
- Happy pigs: Don’t buy the myth – http://www.humanemyth.org – #oink #