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46-Year-Old Shafiqah Hudson, Champion Against Social Media Trolls, Passes Away

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Shafiqah Hudson, a fearless activist who fought against trolls on social media, passed away at the age of 46. Her journey began in 2014 when she noticed a suspicious hashtag, #EndFathersDay, trending on Twitter. Despite recognizing it as a hoax, she took action to combat the coordinated trolling efforts by creating the hashtag #YourSlipIsShowing. This Southernism was used to call out people who were hiding their true intentions behind fake accounts.

With a strong community of supporters, including Black feminists and scholars, Shafiqah exposed the deceptive nature of #EndFathersDay and blocked fake accounts spreading disinformation. Despite Twitter’s lack of responsiveness, her efforts were effective in silencing the troll campaign. Little did she know that this was just the beginning of a larger disinformation strategy that would later be used in election interference and other malicious activities.

Tragically, Shafiqah passed away in February 2024, leaving behind a legacy of courage and resistance. Her followers mourned her loss and expressed frustration over the lack of recognition and support she received from tech companies and media outlets. Despite her health struggles, including long Covid and cancer, she continued her activism without seeking help from her family.

Shafiqah Amatullah Hudson was born on January 10, 1978, in Columbia, S.C. She pursued a career in activism after graduating from college and faced online harassment and threats due to her outspoken views. Her dedication to fighting disinformation and defending democracy made her a beacon of hope for many.

In her final months, Shafiqah shared her struggles with deteriorating health and financial hardships. Despite her private nature, she opened up to her online community, revealing her fears and vulnerabilities. Her poignant reflections on life and choices resonated with many, leaving a lasting impact on those who knew her.

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Shafiqah’s untimely death serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by activists, especially Black women, who often face systemic barriers and neglect. Her legacy lives on through the work of those who continue her fight for justice and truth in the digital age.

Shafiqah’s impact on social media activism and her unwavering dedication to truth and accountability will not be forgotten. Despite facing numerous challenges and obstacles, she stood firm in her beliefs and inspired others to join her in the fight against misinformation.

As we reflect on Shafiqah Hudson’s life and legacy, let us honor her memory by continuing to stand up against hate, disinformation, and injustice. In a world where trolls and fake news run rampant, we must channel our inner Fiqah and strive to make a difference, one tweet at a time.

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Immigration in Maine Addressing Labor Shortage Could Set Trend for U.S.

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A significant labor gap in Maine’s lobster industry is being filled by immigrants, shedding light on the critical role that foreign-born workers are likely to play in the U.S. economy as the native-born population ages. Maine, known for its abundant lobster population, is grappling with an aging workforce that is increasingly unable to sustain the demands of the thriving lobster industry, valued at $1 billion.

Ben Conniff, a founder of Luke’s Lobster, underscores the importance of immigrants in sustaining the natural resources economy of the state, as many native-born workers are not inclined towards manufacturing work in food processing. Since its establishment in 2013, Luke’s Lobster has heavily relied on immigrants to staff its lobster processing plant, highlighting the vital role played by foreign-born workers in filling labor gaps.

With Maine boasting the oldest population in the U.S., with a median age of 45.1, the state offers a glimpse into the economic future of America, where immigrants are poised to be a crucial source of new workers and economic vitality in the coming years.

As immigration continues to be a hotly debated topic in the country, the influx of immigrants has been instrumental in boosting the American economy’s potential. The Congressional Budget Office has revised upwards its population and economic growth projections for the next decade, attributing the growth to the wave of newcomers entering the workforce.

Maine’s initiatives to attract and integrate immigrants into the workforce, such as the creation of an Office of New Americans, reflect the state’s proactive approach towards addressing labor shortages. Private companies like Luke’s Lobster have also taken steps to diversify and supplement the aging lobster fishing industry by training immigrants and minorities in lobster fishing and licensing processes.

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Chadai Gatembo, an 18-year-old immigrant from the Democratic Republic of Congo, exemplifies the success story of immigrants finding opportunities in Maine. Despite facing challenges on his journey to the U.S., Gatembo is now on the path to becoming a full-fledged lobsterman, showcasing the potential for immigrants to thrive in new industries.

The influx of immigrants is not without its challenges, with issues of work authorization and economic stability confronting many newcomers. Adriana Hernandez, a mother of four from Venezuela, highlights the economic hardship faced by immigrants awaiting work permits, underscoring the barriers faced by unauthorized workers in integrating into the labor market.

Despite these challenges, the overall impact of immigration on the U.S. economy is significant. Immigrants have helped to bolster job growth, insulate the economy against downturns, and contribute to a more diverse and innovative workforce. Economists predict that immigration will play a crucial role in addressing labor shortages and demographic shifts as the native-born population ages.

The entrepreneurial spirit of immigrants like Chenda Chamreoun, who has risen from lobster cleaning to a quality assurance supervisor and now aims to start her own catering business, showcases the economic potential of foreign-born workers. Immigrants tend to be more entrepreneurial, adding to the innovation and productivity of the American economy.

J. Edward Moreno contributed reporting from New York, and Zolan Kanno-Youngs from Washington.

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