How Can Internet Policy-Making Support LGBT Rights?

12 November 2015 - A Workshop on Other in João Pessoa, Brazil


The internet is a crucial tool and significant space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) movements across the world to connect, mobilize, and advocate for social justice. Yet, LGBT activists face a number of challenges when working online:

- Censorship of LGBT content and tagging it as "harmful"
- Targeted online violence and threats against LGBT activists on social media
- Violation of the right to privacy around sexual orientation
- Threats to the right to anonymity and the particular significance of anonymity for LGBT youth 
- Violation of transgender persons' rights to choose and use different names and identities online
- Exclusion of LGBT activists from internet governance debates (regionally and internationally)

Therefore, this workshop brings together diverse stakeholders invested in LGBT equality to discuss the impact of internet policy-making on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) rights. The break-out groups will discuss in-depth policies and practices that ensure LGBT rights at multiple levels of internet governance including:

- Understanding particularities of SOGI when it comes to privacy and digital security
- Designing technology that challenges gender binaries and heteronormativity
- Best platform policies on hate speech based on sexuality
- Unpacking "harmful" sexual content and addressing technical and political censorship of LGBT content in search engines, blogs, and websites
- Enacting policies for inclusion of LGBT voices within internet governance processes (national and international)

Based on discussions, the workshop will make specific recommendations for supporting LGBT rights at government, technical, corporate, and civil society levels.

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