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ABOUT THE PROPOSED PANEL
In the digital public sphere, the policy and technological designs of
online platforms play a significant role for users’ ability to speak freely
and connect with others (Balkin, 2009; DeNardis & Hackl, 2015).
Especially for minority groups like LGBT people, political activists and
abuse victims, censorship and a move away from anonymous
speech can represent a challenge not only to individual privacy, but
also to their ability to participate in political change-making. Bringing
together a panel of political activists and policy experts, the panel
discusses how online platforms and their policy and technological
designs account for the needs of vulnerable groups and foster or
hinder community building and political change-making.
Balkin, J. M. (2009). The future of free expression in a digital age. Pepperdine Law Review, 36(2), 427-444.
DeNardis, L., & Hackl, A. M. (2015). Internet governance by social media platforms. Telecommunications Policy.
• What role do the policy and technological designs of online
platforms play in fostering and constraining minority expression
and community building?
• What role can online users play in challenging these online
platforms to foster minority expression and community
• What are potential changes to policy and technological designs
that could help foster minority expression and community
Currently, Mr. Wood serves as the LGBT Technology
Partnership & Institute's Executive Director. Most
recently, Mr. Wood has served as a consultant to
national LGBT organizations on various projects
including transgender economic development
programs. In this capacity, Mr. Wood provided project
planning and strategic guidance to groups developing
programs around jobs, legal programs, intake
processes, localized statistics and employer/employee
training opportunities. Prior to that, Mr. Wood worked
at Discovery Communications creating social media
and strategic marketing campaigns directed toward
rural and LGBT communities. As part of his strategic
campaigns, he was responsible for directing outreach
programs at various LGBT Pride festivals across the
country. Mr. Wood’s leadership, passion for technology
and entrepreneurial appetite has instinctively led him
to co-found LGBT Technology Partnership & Institute.
LGBT Technology Partnership & Institute
Photo credit: Sister Roma
2015 marks Sister Roma’s 28th year as one of the
most continuously active, outspoken and highly visible
members of the infamous Sisters Of Perpetual
Indulgence. Located in San Francisco, Roma is
recognized around the globe as an activist,
fundraiser, public speaker, hostess/Master of
Ceremonies, columnist, talk show host, and an
arguable gay icon. Most recently Roma gained
international attention as the originator of the
#MyNameIs campaign in protest of Facebook's Real
Name Policy. Along with a handful of other passionate
San Francisco drag queens and kings, members of
the trans community, domestic abuse survivors,
burlesque performer and key politicos, Roma met with
Facebook to address "fake" name reporting affecting
marginalized members of the Facebook community.
Roma and the #MyNameIs Coalition continue to
protest Facebook's policing of online identity and work
to ensure that everyone has the right to self-identify.
Photo credit: Andrea Hackl
Andrea Hackl is a doctoral candidate with American
University’s School of Communication with a
research interest standing at the intersection of
Internet governance and human rights. Her
dissertation work discusses LGBT speech and
identity expression online. Andrea’s work has been
published in the peer reviewed journals
Telecommunications Policy and Sexuality & Culture.
Previously, Andrea also served as a Research
Fellow with the LGBT Technology Partnership &
Institute where she wrote a White Paper on the
technology needs of homeless LGBT youth. The
paper has helped the organization develop Connect
4 Life, a cellphone program providing homeless
LGBT youth with free cellphone service.