Consent, real and imagined, in the technology industry

Everyone must read this article from ModelViewCulture: Betsy Haibel (2014-04-28), “The Fantasy and Abuse of the Manipulable User”

A few representative quotations:

Another mechanism behind rape culture is the belief that sexual consent and non-consent exist on a different plane than violation of non-sexual boundaries. But in a consent culture, all individuals have the inalienable right to determine their own boundaries in all situations – and to change those boundaries for any reason at any time. In a consent culture, making assumptions about an individual’s boundaries is anathema. Building a consent culture is about more than sexual activity – it needs to pervade every aspect of our lives… including the parts of it that happen online.

Rollouts like [Twitter’s introduction of photo tagging] that opt users into features tend to damage users unevenly; the less technical are the most affected, and users from marginalized communities are the most likely to be endangered by violations of their privacy – think of queer people who are outed to homophobic employers by accidentally-publicized Facebook photos, or stalking targets who need to lock down information about their physical location.

People’s natural desire to be in contact with their loved ones becomes a form of social coercion that keeps them on platforms they’d rather depart.

Go read the whole thing now.

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