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Digital Security – from silencing to claiming safe spaces

Author's name: 
Jennifer Radloff
Cape Town

Discourses on issues of safety are not new to feminists. Strategies to resist sexual harassment in the office, verbal abuse on the streets, physical violence in the home, shaming in social spaces and sexualised threats to women human rights defenders are continually being revisited and reworked. Often this abuse is about the silencing of women’s voices and the marginalisation in social and political spaces. Given the blurred lines between online and offline realities and activism, being safe and secure in both universes is critical.

Many feminists are not securing themselves online nor are not aware of the tactics and tools to create a safe experience for themselves and by extension those in their networks. The irony is that with social media, it is easy to sign up and sign away a lot of your personal information via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tubmlr or with mobile phone applications like What’sApp. But it’s harder and more time-consuming to know how to secure oneself online. And yet we cannot have one without the other.

Read the full Feminist Talk in GenderIT.org .

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