March 23 2023 GM
Glitter Meetup is the weekly town hall of the Internet Freedom community at the IF Square on the TCU Mattermost, at 9am EST / 1pm UTC. Do you need an invite? Learn how to get one here.
- Date: Thursday, March 23
- Time: 9am EST / 1pm UTC
- Who: TCU Community Leads
- Moderator: Danae
- Where: On TCU Mattermost "IF Square" Channel.
- Don't have an account to the TCU Mattermost? you can request one following the directions here.
TCU's 2023 Community Health Report Q&A
At this Glitter Meetup you’re welcome to join and bring your questions about TCU's 2023 Community Health Report released on March 8th, 2023. Our Community Leads, Ursula (@ursula), Mardiya (@mardiya), Astha (@asthar) and Islam (@islam) are on Mattermost and they will be very happy to talk with you about the report!
A crucial part of this report is the work of our amazing community leads. I'm really happy we reached this point of periodic dispatches from each region. How was the writing process of this yearly review for you?
- Ursula: It was very exciting from an analytical point of view, because in the Latin America case I had to check all the important cases in the region but also decide what to prioritize considering that we have to meet some character limit. It made me think in another way about the region, not only in a summary mode, more in what it is important to highlight, like the Guacamaya Leaks exposing problems and abuses in different countries and the platforms workers organization
- Islam: I think for me it was a bit overwhelming, like how do you write a yearly reflection that is both in line with what the community experienced and also prioritizes countries that do not usually make the headlines in the MENA region. I think it was very helpful to also identify strengths and weaknesses, and I think it gave me much more clarity on work I wanna do next with the community
- Mardiya: It was very interesting, because there was so much gloom within the space, it has been hard to imagine progress, but then I wanted this research and writing process to reflect the realities while showing a positive way forward. It was also very introspective, of the region so far, what conversation we are having. I also had to look at what is said as much as what is implied
- Astha: I found writing the yearly review to be quite motivating. Asia is a pretty fragmented region when it comes to digital rights as we all know and so many governments are introducing new laws around censorship, but I was most amazed at all the work that so many orgs are doing to raise awareness and fight. In India, the internet Freedom Foundation is one good example, while the Milk Tea movement is another amazing example of resistance efforts that have had global impact
Mardiya, you used the term "online violence" in your report. For you and your community, what is included in this term?
- For myself and what I gathered from the research process, it came to mean harm, in terms of forced exclusion through harassment. Violence also meant digital security threats from community or the state
- Right now, we are seeing online violence in the form of ethnic and gendered disinformation and hate speech (from election and politicians), we are also seeing it through doxxing. Almost very thing to do with violence from social interactions online
- Yes, the platform workers are everywhere around the globe, but in Latin America and in another regions they are organizing themselves because they suffer a lot of abuses, like full time shifts and subordination but without being recognized as workers
- This means that despite they work full time and under very hard conditions for delivering food or transporting people, they don't have coverage for accidents, for example, no maternity leave, no retirement system, nothing
Another cross-regional thing that our community leads reported was the return of in-person events! Any thoughts about this?
- Ursula: in Latin America people are already meeting in person, bit by bit, and community members are participating in conferences and festivals
- Islam: I think people just miss being around another, and having had a regional space like B&N last year made everyone feel very excited by the idea of having more in person spaces. Also, most people I've spoken to mentioned the idea of food and having meals together again because I was asking what do you like the most about in-person gatherings? & yeah food won…
- Mardiya: Yes, because a lot of people felt like online relationship building is very limited. And we need to know people beyond their zoom voices and faces EG. I have never seen some people from the community, and there is zoom fatigue as well
- Astha: I think the other thing is that digital rights is always seen as something that happens behind the screen, which for many people in Asia (I'm especially thinking of China, HK, Myanmar) can be a very isolating experience. So it's been exciting to see so many different conferences taking place. Engage Media had a Asia-Pacific Digital Rights forum earlier this year, and in Singapore, the FOSS Asia Summit happened in-person again next month. I think community building is so essential to keep this work going, and agree with Mardiya about Zoom fatigue!