Event: Decoding Stigma: Designing for Sex Worker Liberatory Futures

What would the Internet look like if it was designed by sex workers? Taking a sex worker lens to tech ethics envisions a radically different online space. Sex workers hold unique insights into the real world impacts of platform capitalism, carceral politics, digital surveillance, and sexual gentrification. Yet sex workers face significant structural barriers to inclusion in both tech and academic spaces. This panel elevates sex worker expertise and offers new ways for regulators, ethicists, policy-makers, and technologists to think about community standards, technologies of violence, data privacy, online safety, and virtual intimacies. We will explore  how we might code sex worker ethics into future design.

Speakers: Chibundo Egwuatu, Yin Q, Gabriella Garcia

Moderator: Zahra Stardust

Host: Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society

This Panel will be held via Zoom on Thursday 8 April 2021. Register for this event. Free.

About the Speakers:

Chibundo Egwuatu PhD Candidate, University of Illinois

Chibundo Egwuatu is a PhD student in Sociocultural Anthropology. Chibundo’s research interests engage with the activism of Black sex workers, (de)criminalization, and digital space.

Yin Q Red Canary Song

Yin Q (she/they) is a queer, nonbinary Chinese American mother, Kink educator, writer/producer and sex worker rights activist. Yin’s writing can be found in AfroAsia anthology; BUST; PointMagazine; and the WeToo anthology recently published by Feminist Press. Their media work includes Mercy Mistress and Fly in Power. Yin is the founder/Creative Director of Kink Out, Body of Workers, and co-organizer with Red Canary Song.

Gabriella Garcia Postdoctoral Fellow, NYU Interactive Telecommunication Program

Gabriella Garcia (founder, Decoding Stigma) is a writer, performer, and poetic technologist. She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunication Program (ITP), where her research focuses on the protection of radical self-expression, networked subcultures, and cybernetic intimacy. In addition to her own research, Gabriella is the current acting Managing Editor of Adjacent, ITP’s journal for emergent interactive media. Gabriella sits on the Community Advisory Board for Urban Justice Center’s Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (STOP). Gabriella is also the curatorial artist-in-residence at The Postcontemporary in Troy, NY, where she is cultivating a run of artists who intend to make work that interacts with the landmarked Woodside Church that houses the residency program.

Zahra Stardust Fellow, Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society

Zahra Stardust is a former Hustler Honey, Australian Penthouse Pet and Feminist Porn Awards Heartthrob of the Year. Her PhD research explored the regulation, ethics and interventions of independent queer and feminist pornographies. She is a stripper, lawyer and academic and has written numerous book chapters, journal articles and media on the sexuality, criminal law, human rights, public health and labor organising.

This Panel will be held via Zoom on Thursday 8 April 2021. Register for this event.