In what way could increased filters and limitations of the free internet affect- positively and/or negatively- women´s rights and freedom?
– APC and I did research on filters and keywords to see the connection between sexuality and internet censorship, because censorship of sexual expression has not been seen as a political speech. Filters have always existed in the area of merchiness, but not always seen as a censorship issue, but now much more in the reader of the civil rights activism.
What is happening more right now is less about filtering and more about what happens when gender based violence gets online. When attacks are very specifically around gender, sexuality and ethnicity. What happens then? Can the complaints mechanisms be adequately used to support people who are getting attacked and support their needs, or will it contribute to a censorship of women’s sexuality and expression. What you often see is a two ends of the response by every platform where the content is regulated. When it comes to sexual content, one content around violence and abuse is often allowed difficult to take down, while content that is actually about sexual expression, women putting themselves out there, is very often quickly taken down. So there are these two things happening. Unless you have more feminists, human activists engaging on this, its going to be difficult to narrow it down to tell the standard, about who’s integrity and consent we are talking about.
How would you compare internet with the traditional physical public space as a democratic platform in relation to feminism?
– A traditional public square and spaces are not avaiable for female bodies. In order to entering these spaces, you already are transpression to norms and standards. One of the cost of this is violence. You can see this on the traditional public square, but also on the digital square. The difference is that there are different barriers for entering these squares. Entering the physical space, depends on who is monitoring you when leaving your home. On the internet, the digital square is accessed through your phone, and there is more imaginative power to engage to the public square. There are lots of feminism on the internet, which people have take to online platforms. This is the chance to be visible, to talk about our issues, narratives, our reality. It is an important thing to do, to produce feminist content which is the missing perspective. But the backlash is very strong when many feminist voices are engaging in any public sphere, which in the digital space is targeted attacks, gender based trolling and hate speech. In some way the physical and digital spaces are similar, in some way not. You will face a cost for cleaning any kind of space as a feminist.