[artinfo] Feminist Principles of the Internet
nettime's token feminist
nettime at kein.org
Thu Sep 1 10:53:44 CEST 2016
August 26, 2016
A feminist internet works towards empowering more women and queer
persons - in all our diversities - to fully enjoy our rights, engage in
pleasure and play, and dismantle patriarchy. This integrates our
different realities, contexts and specificities - including age,
disabilities, sexualities, gender identities and expressions,
socioeconomic locations, political and religious beliefs, ethnic
origins, and racial markers. The following key principles are critical
towards realising a feminist internet.
1 Access to the internet
A feminist internet starts with enabling more women and queer persons to
enjoy universal, acceptable, affordable, unconditional, open, meaningful
and equal access to the internet.
2 Access to information
We support and protect unrestricted access to information relevant to
women and queer persons, particularly information on sexual and
reproductive health and rights, pleasure, safe abortion, access to
justice, and LGBTIQ issues. This includes diversity in languages,
abilities, interests and contexts.
3 Usage of technology
Women and queer persons have the right to code, design, adapt and
critically and sustainably use ICTs and reclaim technology as a platform
for creativity and expression, as well aschallenge the cultures of
sexism and discrimination in all spaces.
__Movements & public participation
The internet is a space where social norms are negotiated, performed and
imposed, often in an extension of other spaces shaped by patriarchy and
heteronormativity. Our struggle for a feminist internet is one that
forms part of a continuum of our resistance in other spaces, public,
private and in-between.
5 Movement building
The internet is a transformative political space. It facilitates new
forms of citizenship that enable individuals to claim, construct and
express selves, genders and sexualities. This includes connecting across
territories, demanding accountability and transparency, and creating
opportunities for sustained feminist movement building.
6 Internet governance
We believe in challenging the patriarchal spaces and processes that
control internet governance, as well as putting more feminists and
queers at the decision-making tables. We want to democratise policy
making affecting the internet as well as diffuse ownership of and power
in global and local networks.
7. Alternative economies
We are committed to interrogating the capitalist logic that drives
technology towards further privatisation, profit and corporate control.
We work to create alternative forms of economic power that are grounded
in principles of cooperation, solidarity, commons, environmental
sustainability, and openness.
8. Free and open source
We are committed to creating and experimenting with technology,
including digital safety and security, and using free/libre and open
source software (FLOSS), tools, and platforms. Promoting, disseminating,
and sharing knowledge about the use of FLOSS is central to our praxis.
9 Amplifying feminist discourse
We claim the power of the internet to amplify women's narratives and
lived realities. There is a need to resist the state, the religious
right and other extremist forces who monopolise discourses of morality,
while silencing feminist voices and persecuting women's human rights
10 Freedom of expression
We defend the right to sexual expression as a freedom of expression
issue of no less importance than political or religious expression. We
strongly object to the efforts of state and non-state actors to control,
surveil, regulate and restrict feminist and queer expression on the
Internet through technology, legislation or violence. We recognise this
as part of the larger political project of moral policing, censorship,
and hierarchisation of citizenship and rights.
11 Pornography and "harmful content"
We recognise that the issue of pornography online has to do with agency,
consent, power and labour. We reject simple causal linkages made between
consumption of pornographic content and violence against women. We also
reject the use of the umbrella term "harmful content"label expression on
female and transgender sexuality. We support reclaiming and creating
alternative erotic content that resists the mainstream patriarchal gaze
and locates women and queer persons' desires at the centre.
We call on the need to build an ethics and politics of consent into the
culture, design, policies and terms of service of internet platforms.
Women's agency lies in their ability to make informed decisions on what
aspects of their public or private lives to share online.
13 Privacy and data
We support the right to privacy and to full control over personal data
and information online at all levels. We reject practices by states and
private companies to use data for profit and to manipulate behaviour
online. Surveillance is the historical tool of patriarchy, used to
control and restrict women's bodies, speech and activism. We pay equal
attention to surveillance practices by individuals, the private sector,
the state and non-state actors.
We have the right to exercise and retain control over our personal
history and memory on the internet. This includes being able to access
all our personal data and information online, and to be able to exercise
control over this data, including knowing who has access to it and under
what conditions, and the ability to delete it forever.
We defend the right to be anonymous and reject all claims to restrict
anonymity online. Anonymity enables our freedom of expression online,
particularly when it comes to breaking taboos of sexuality and
heteronormativity, experimenting with gender identity, and enabling
safety for women and queer persons affected by discrimination.
16 Children and youth
We call for the inclusion of the voices and experiences of young people
in the decisions made about safety and security online and promote their
safety, privacy, and access to information. We recognise children's
right to healthy emotional and sexual development, which includes the
right to privacy and access to positive information about sex, gender
and sexuality at critical times in their lives.
17 Online violence
We call on all internet stakeholders, including internet users, policy
makers and the private sector, to address the issue of online harassment
and technology-related violence. The attacks, threats, intimidation and
policing experienced by women and queers are real, harmful and alarming,
and are part of the broader issue of gender-based violence. It is our
collective responsibility to address and end this.
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