April 10th, 2014

"Towards more diversity-friendly social networks"

Open Source BridgeOpen Source Bridge, "the conference for open source citizens", is happening in Portland in late June. We submitted a proposal for a session Towards more diversity-friendly social networks.

Update, May 4: Our proposal is on standby -- meaning, they hope they'll have space for it but might not. Fingers crossed!

Here's the description:

How can we make social networks more “diversity-friendly” — that is, more welcoming to women, people of color, trans, queer and gender-variant people, and others whose perspectives are typically marginalized? It starts with an anti-oppression attitude from people running the site, embedded in the community guidelines and norms. Other key techniques include tools, technologies, and policies in areas such as moderation, muting, blocking, reporting, pseudonymity, accessibility, privacy, and user rights.

This session will look at what does and doesn’t work in a variety of online environments. Dreamwidth, Gender Overflow, the feminist and womanist blogospheres (and mailing lists before them), and others provide positive examples to learn from. Less-positive examples like Twitter’s recent blocking faux pas, the Nymwars on Google+, Google Buzz before that, Storify, and Facebook’s privacy abuses also provide valuable lessons. This session will look at what does and doesn’t work in a variety of online environments, and will include an annotated collection of resources on the wiki.

If you think this would be an interesting session -- or if you've got some suggestions how to improve it -- we'd love your feedback! You can leave a private comment to the organizers on the Open Source Bridge site, or reply to this post.