Queering the Internet
What does it mean to be on the internet as a diverse community?
- non-male dominant
- queer inclusive
- Build off of the exclusionary resources of the patriarchical technological history?
- have different needs than the mainstream
- the mainstream tend to generalize from a small sample set of the minority
- how can we build awareness and understanding to support and welcome a greater diversity of people?
What is Queer?
- the gray area, the interstices
- to queer is to bring in non-represented voices
- the wide range of sex and gender expression - kink, poly, sex workers, any taboo
- an umbrella term for any non-mainstream gender or sexual identity
- inclusive of non-Western identities, like two-spirit or hijra
- avoid putting titles on others; prefer recognizing their own identities
- we have a plurality of names
How to queer the internet?
- who puts things online?
- how do we talk about the work we do, or the folks we work with?
- prioritize consent
- prioritize open-ended identification
- fight the segmentation and categorization that the internet likes to use for monetization
- do you even need gender and sexual questions? can’t the behavior give better data about our preferences?
- how do we prevent the assumption that every user is white/cis/het/male?
- boxes can be harmful when they misrepresent people, but can be beneficial when they correctly represent people.
- Allow “hiding” for safety; sometimes, it’s not safe to correctly represent yourself
- Ask more specific questions, like “gender for insurance purposes”
- Recognize the behaviors and interests of a user or a community, rather than enforcing behaviors and interests
- build accessibility; support people with different sense data, different physical ability, etc.
Queer culture looks like:
- trigger or content warnings
- group consensus of community rules
- group enforcement of community rules
- collaborative rather than heirarchical
- community justice, community moderation
- recognition of trauma, or of shared experiences
- accountability and solidarity
- humanization; awareness of non-verbal reactions to our actions
- self-identity over assigned identity
- make space for different perspectives, rather than demanding everyone frame themselves in the mainstream narrative
- respect the different knowledge and expertise of all participants
- questions about personality and priorities allow people to self-select
- make it normal to be a non-mainstream kind of person
- inclusive terminology
- identify people by their non-identity qualities, like interests or fashion sense, rather than identity qualities, like assigned gender or body shape
- safe and secure: protect users from persecution and harrassment both on the platform and as a result of using the platform
- show impacts on different populations in ways that people outside that population can understand
- if you misbehave or get backlash for some reason, try to understand it instead of getting defensive
- if you are hurt or offended, try to educate instead of fighting back
- acknowledge how much you don’t know