Global

The internet of Things: smart devices, quantified self, dolls and vibrators

hvale on 27 Apr 2017
If an object has a chip, it becomes smart, and by extension our houses become smarter - and so do our cities, hospitals, toys, phones. But what about the inventors, the creators, the owners, the users of all these smart and tiny things - are we becoming smarter? Reflecting on sessions in Rights Con 2017 in Brussels, Vale examines the ways in which the internet of things can lead to invasive datafication and surveillance, and violate internet rights.

10 ways to make Twitter work for feminist activism

Samukelisiwe Mabaso on 25 Apr 2017
How to bring the powerful agency and discourse of women's rights movements and feminism to the digital age of Twitter and other social media. Samukelisiwe Mabaso has researched on various movements across Africa and Asia that successfully and effectively use technology, and shows us ten ways in which to make Twitter work for feminist activism. Lets get in formation!

[COLUMN] Open software movements, open content, free culture: Where are the women?

Evelin Heidel - Scann on 18 Apr 2017
The gender balance is far from equal even in progressive movements such as the free and open source software community, Mozilla user groups, and others. Despite all the rivers of ink that were written about the gender imbalance in these areas, the changes are slow to arrive.

The nerdiest and most open of them all: Internet Freedom Festival 2017

Smita on 7 Apr 2017
The Internet Freedom Festival is refreshingly different from most forums around internet rights and technology - it is almost equal in gender ratio, welcoming of gender non conforming and trans persons, and takes privacy of its participants at the venue seriously. Smita Vanniyar tells us more about their experience at the festival this year in Valencia, Spain.

[BOOK REVIEW] Interpreting the Internet: Feminist and Queer counterpublics in Latin America

Alan Finlay on 5 Apr 2017
'Interpreting the internet: Feminist and Queer Counterpublics in Latin America by Elisabeth Jay Friedman looks at a decade long engagement of feminist and women's movements with technology. Alan Finlay reviews the book for GenderIT.org, and finds it to be essential reading for anyone interested in how feminist (or any) counterpublics are formed and shaped by appropriating whatever technology is available.

Chelsea Manning and other political prisoners: Report from Internet Freedom Festival

Mallory Knodel on 3 Apr 2017
While Chelsea Manning has been pardoned by the Obama administration, there are still many political prisoners facing incarceration and lengthy trials for their exercise of freedom of expression and for whistle blowing. Very few countries have enacted laws that protect whistle blowers. Mallory Knodel writes about the benefit fundraiser to welcome home Chelsea Manning that took place at the Internet Freedom Festival 2017 in Valencia, Spain, and reflects on the many others who face similar charges around the world.

Unscripting Harassment (Part 2)

ItsAllMaya on 14 Mar 2017
Online harassment has taken various forms on the internet, including doxxing, intimate violence, stalking and so on. In this article, Part 2 of the series, Maya Ganesh explores a different way of thinking through this contemporary phenomenon by using an approach that emphasises 'design-thinking'. Possibilities that are explored include whether the system or platform can predict or respond to interactions that are escalating. However we also need to acknowledge that design, no matter how good, cannot solve social problems or harassment, but can be part of how we deal with it.

What is sexual surveillance and why does it matter

Dr. Nicole Shephard on 6 Mar 2017
We can no longer ignore the pervasive datafication of our lives - the ways in which our habits, illness, abilities, relations are abstracted, and our bodies made into data by an intersecting range of institutions and processes. In this article, the gendered, sexualised and racialised nature of surveillance is unpacked, so we maintain a focus on the power relations involved. Surveillance affects racialised groups, the gender non-conforming, people with disabilities, and other marginalised populations disproportionately.

Feminist autonomous infrastructure in the internet battlefield: From Zombies to Ninjas

Nadège on 22 Feb 2017
The Distributed Denial of Women strike borrows the metaphor of the DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack as a radical and subversive tool by activists, but currently DDOS attacks powered by zombie-bots are part of the anarcho-capitalist economies of the internet. Ganesh in their article unpacks the many levels at which gendered labour is extracted, and while positing feminist autonomous infrastructures as an alternative, points to the flaws and the contradictions in the movement and civil society as well.

Educating, Hiring, and Retaining Women in Technology: A Gendered Enquiry

Radhika Radhakrishnan on 22 Feb 2017
Research suggests that women are underrepresented at every level in technology(McKinsey survey, 2016). Why is this the case? And how do we educate, hire, and retain more women in it? In this article, Radhika Radhakrishnan highlights the underlying realities that women face in technology beyond just a numbers game, and offer insight to such questions by interviewing diverse, pioneering women working in various aspects of the field.

The Architectures of Online Harassment (Part 1)

ItsAllMaya on 21 Feb 2017
In this two part report on a workshop on thinking through online harassment, Maya Ganesh of Tactical Technology Collective teases out the nuances of how online harassment takes place, technologically and socially. The article looks at what troubles and concerns us about online harassment of women, and what could be the possible new directions opened up by using a design-thinking approach. Part 2 of the article will unpack further the design-thinking model.

A painting of an African feminist internet

Irene Kagoya on 9 Feb 2017
Addressing the internet gender divide in Africa can only be achieved through the deliberate creation of a feminist internet, and this was affirmed by the Gender and Internet Governance eXchange (gigX) workshop that was held on 10 October 2016 in Durban. We need a feminist internet that works to empower all of us in our diversities, creates equal power relations, and dismantles patriarchy in all of its forms.

[COLUMN] Gender Binary: Second Life, First Loves

Nadika on 30 Jan 2017
In this column, Nadika Nadja explores the world of gaming and how it opened up realms of experience for her. Second Life, an enormous immersive multiplayer game, and many other similar environments on the internet, have been revelatory and powerful spaces for people to discover aspects of themselves, particularly in terms of gender and sexuality. From shame and fear, to play and sex, and to finding comfort zones and support online, Nadika sketches out her journey for us.

Big Data and Sexual Surveillance

on 23 Jan 2017
Surveillance has historically functioned as an oppressive tool to control women’s bodies and is closely related to colonial modes of managing populations. Big data, metadata and the technologies used to collect, store and analyse them are by no means neutral, but come with their own exclusions and biases. This paper highlights the gendered and racialised effects of data practices; outlines the overlapping nature of state, commercial and peer surveillance; and maps the challenges and opportunities women and queers encounter on the nexus between data, surveillance, gender and sexuality.

Defining their place: Gender at the Internet Governance Forum 2016

Smita on 18 Jan 2017
The Internet Governance Forum has been valuable as a multistakeholder space that facilitates the discussion and dialogue of public policy issues pertaining to the Internet. Over the years several feminists, activists and others interested in diverse representation have been participating in IGF and observing how concerns related to gender, sexuality, and the internet are raised and addressed. Smita Vanniyar writes a short report on IGF 2016 in Guadalajara, Mexico, and how gender and sexuality are still largely a concern for the women activists and queer people present, rather than for all.
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