To compete and thrive in the 21st century, democracies, and the United States in particular, must develop new national security and economic strategies that address the geopolitics of information. In the 20th century, market capitalist democracies geared infrastructure, energy, trade, and even social policy to protect and advance that era’s key source of power—manufacturing. In this century, democracies must better account for information geopolitics across all dimensions of domestic policy and national strategy.
Most public discussions of sex and the internet are about removing child pornography or preventing harassment, but the internet is also an amazing place for people to learn positive information about sex and connect with like-minded communities. Unfortunately, a lot of policies to prevent the former also end up preventing the latter.
Clare Bayley spent the year of her TAPP Fellowship researching the censorship of sexual material on social media platforms and the effects it has on those communities. Did you know:
- Facebook blocks sending links to some condom use instructions, even in a 1:1 private message?
- Photos of scantily-clad large-bodied people are often taken down, while similar images of thin people are left up (and often gain massive followings)?
- Anything related to “sexual pleasure” (toys, classes, educational materials) cannot be advertised on most platforms?
Clare will review her research findings and then be joined by asexuality author Angela Chen, sex and disability expert Robin Wilson-Beattie, and sex education cartoonist Erika Moen for a panel on the importance of accessing information and finding community on the internet.
This talk will include frank descriptions of sex but all visual content will be “safe for work.”
While this virtual event is on the record, the event organizers prohibit any attendees, including journalists, from audio/visual recording or distributing parts or all of the event program without prior written authorization.
Clare Bayley is a sex and technology expert, currently a Fellow at the Technology and Public Purpose Project of the Harvard Belfer Center. She has worked for Google, Kink .com, and the US Digital Service under the White House. You can find her on Instagram @clarebayley or follow her writings at clarebayley.com.
Angela Chen is a science journalist and the author of Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex, which was selected as one of the best books of 2020 by NPR, Electric Literature, and Them. Her reporting and essays have also appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Paris Review, Lapham's Quarterly, and more. Find her on Twitter: @chengela.
Robin Wilson-Beattie (she, her) is a speaker, writer, and advocate for disability and sexuality as well as one of the first people to talk about disability, sexuality, and marketing to adult product retailers and manufacturers. She combines years of personal experience with medically sound research to provide a unique perspective on how life and identity impacts one's sexual expression.
Erika Moen is the cartoonist and co-author of the sex-positive and educational comic series Oh Joy Sex Toy and Drawn to Sex (Limerence Press) as well as the book Let's Talk About It (Random House Graphic).