Queering the internet
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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?
- non-binary - non-conforming - LGBT - 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 - consent - 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