NEW! #BlogHer15 Keynote: Brianna Wu on Creating a Safer Saner Online Culture for Women. For Everybody.
Last week we added a late-breaking keynote segment to the already packed #BlogHer15: Experts Among Us schedule. I'm excited to tell you more about it today, and if you have been considering, but haven't already registered we hope this puts you right over the edge to register!
During Saturday's lunch keynote session (and following the sneak peek at the new Every Mother Counts documentary and a discussion of maternal health and mortality issues featuring Christy Turlington Burns, Dr. Priya Agrawal, NYC doula Chanel Porchia, and moderated by Equality Now executive director Yasmeen Hassan), we will broaden our view on another safety issue that affects us all: Creating a Safer, Saner Online Culture. For Women. For Everybody.
We're all part of this online culture, and we've probably all seen its "dark side" in action. But most of us probably not quite to the degree of Brianna Wu.
Brianna is a video game developer. She’s an entrepreneur, a blogger and a podcaster. And for the last year, she has also been a target.
She is often cited as one of the primary targets in an ongoing online campaign to intimidate, threaten, harass, and ultimately endanger prominent women in the gaming community.
From that very personal experience and through that lens, Brianna is addressing the issues unilaterally—from working directly with law enforcement to furthering legislation that criminalizes the act of sharing nonconsensual pornography or sexual imagery.
She'll be joined for this conversation by longtime BlogHer community member Shireen Mitchell. Founder of Digital Sisters, the first organization specifically focused on women and girls of color in technology and digital media, Shireen has been at the forefront of addressing the role that industries play in the discrimination and abuse of women.
Notably, prior to the adoption of "sexting" as a concept, Shireen revealed the ways in which girls of color were violated by the sharing of inappropriate images of themselves in schools. She educated working mothers about ways to protect their daughters online despite existing fears about privacy and predators.
Shireen's personal experience includes spending years working with mothers who refused to allow their daughters online because of fear of predators & privacy, promising those mothers their daughters could be safe online—and now facing the hard truth that these harassers are actually targeting girls of color.
As the current chair of the National Council of Women's Organizations, Shireen developed and is currently running the Stop Online Violence Against Women (SOVAW) project in response—an initiative for which she is collaborating with legislators to bring women who (like Brianna) had offensive and scary experiences to the forefront.
Based on this dedication and career-long commitment, Shireen is well-versed for addressing these types of offensives in order to create a desired safer and saner Internet culture inclusive of women and girls of color.
While it might be hard to imagine the extremity of the actions aimed at Brianna, many of us have experienced the unpleasant reality of being a woman who speaks freely on the Internet.
This important conversation will be moderated by Personal Technology Columnist at the Wall Street Journal Joanna Stern. We'll focus on what can be done and how we can know when a troll is really someone more serious and sinister.
The goal: Point us all in the direction of potential solutions, including what we can do to help them come about.
We're grateful for the courage of the women to speak up, share their stories, and be catalysts for change for us all.