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A Queer and Feminist Defense of Being Anonymous Online

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Title:A Queer and Feminist Defense of Being Anonymous Online
Authors:Lingel, Jesssa
Keywords:Critical and Ethical Studies of Digital and Social Media
digital culture
Date Issued:05 Jan 2021
Abstract:From the earliest days of digital communities, online abuse has been connected to anonymity. While concerns around the impact of anonymity, particularly for women, people of color and LGBTQ folks, is legitimate, this paper argues that a flat rejection of digital anonymity is problematic, foreclosing certain forms of queer and feminist praxis. To make this case, I turn to the platform politics of Craigslist. Using Craigslist as a case study, I discuss the persistent stigma attached to online anonymity, before addressing specific tactics of online anonymity associated with queer and feminist values of privacy and mutual aid. Drawing on accounts of Craigslist users who saw anonymity as a protective form of control over their personal information, I outline ways in which anonymity is not solely an enabler for misogyny and homophobia, and can instead (or rather, also) be a subversive tool for self-expression and intimacy.
Pages/Duration:10 pages
Rights:Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Appears in Collections: Critical and Ethical Studies of Digital and Social Media

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