Feminist Internet takes aim at male-dominated web

We all know the internet can be a dark, cold, and hurtful place for anyone who is not at the top of society's food chain. But the Feminist Internet is trying to change that.

Lydia Morrish
Lydia Morrish NewsMavens, United Kingdom
Feminist Internet takes aim at male-dominated web - NewsMavens
Charlotte Webb. Internet Age Media

Why this story matters:

The internet has connected the world beyond what was thought possible.

But what started as a way of connecting people and expanding the possibilities of communication can now also be a hotbed for abuse, harassment, and extremism. Especially for women and minorities.

Of the many projects that have been set up to counter misogyny and hate speech online, Feminist Internet has one huge goal: to make the internet more equal in terms of gender, class, race, and any other structure that renders some people more equal than others.

Its founder, Dr Charlotte Webb, even wants to tackle big data and the filter bubble.

As she tells me in the article below, the increasing homogenization of internet spaces has made corporations too powerful and robbed internet users of choice.

"The trade off of free services for data is something which is becoming much more of a mainstream concern," says Webb. "But even when you’re super aware of it, most don’t retract from the platforms, because they’re so dominant and because it’s so helpful to be engaged with them.

"But if the consequences of opting out are so negative on your life, it’s not really a fair choice."

Details from the story:

  • Dr Charlotte Webb founded the Feminist Internet which aims to make the internet a more equal place through research, technology incubation, and creative practice.
  • In just a year, Feminist Internet has received positive engagement and attention around the world.
  • The organization has given talks and workshops in London, Cannes, Barcelona and Madrid. Last December, it also sold out a “digital clinic” hosted at central London’s Somerset House.
  • Webb says the culture of Silicon Valley and its instantiations around the tech sector has a masculine toxicity which is reflected on popular internet platforms.

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
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