APC, in partnership with Point of View and the Internet Democracy Project, is conducting a workshop in Delhi, India, from 25 – 28 February 2013. More than 20 sexual and internet rights organisations are discussing ways to resist content regulation and increasing their knowledge of online security and privacy.
This breakthrough study carried out in Brazil, India, Lebanon, South Africa & USA looks at how the internet plays host to critical information about sex education, health, fighting sex discrimination and defining one’s own sexuality. It debunks the commonly-held view that sexuality online is just about pornography.
Controlling what users can and can’t see on computers using filtering software is standard in US libraries. APC questions the Denver Public Library on their filtering policy and practices in a fictional exchange that tackles very real questions of freedom of information.
APC’s two-year research into sexuality and the internet reveals that contrary to popular opinion sexuality online is about much more than porn. As the EroTICs research is about to publish its complete findings next month, experts Clarissa Smith, Katharine Sarikakis and Pramada Menon critique.
The EroTICs research team in Brazil studied the complex relationship between sexual minorities and internet policy. Their findings show that these groups were routinely ignored in debates surrounding internet regulation.
For years sexual rights activists in repressive societies have been using the internet as a means to communicate, organise and express their sexuality without fear of persecution. Thanks to EroTICs, this vibrant ecosystem of human connections is being studied for the first time.
Controlling — or filtering — what people can and can’t see online related to sex however well intentioned can have a profoundly negative impact. Censorship affects not only sexual expression but blocks access to sexual education and important movement-building tools for LGBTI activists.
“It was an eye-opener,” says privacy advocate Gus Hosein when he talks about the findings from APC’s exploratory research on sexuality and the internet in Brazil, India, Lebanon, South Africa, and USA. And it’s given him some good ammunition with which to field those annoying radio callers who question the need for privacy online.
In March 2011, the Indian government blocked Savita Bhabhi, an immensely popular soft-core web comic, sparking popular outcry.