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Content of online communication

  • Making sure that we understand visibility and diversity. What does that really mean? Othering is at its core other people also get.
  • Arthur: Specific concern with coming up with better ways to communicate.
    • Normalizing
      • Loss when creating a new norm excludes things that are useful.
      • Communication within communities. Trying to communicate with a broader group loses specificity. More to communication then just words.
      • Small groups communicate more effectively
  • Willow: Question of diversity. Question of having diversity present in all things balanced with subcultural heritage.
    • What is present is context collapse.
  • Larger cultural norms (i.e. human rights)
    • How do smaller cultures express or buy into these larger norms.
    • Space for out group to express and unite (like dark humor and in group references)
    • Problems related to interpretation and intention.
  • What to do with assumptions of context for terms
  • Trying to communicate between gulfs when everyone is involved.
  • Assume good intentions, but sometimes it doesn't exist
  • Concept within the context
  • Feminism 101 and FAQ
    • Obligation to know and self educate
    • Useful in online feminism as way of dealing with concern trolls and derailment.
    • Positive tool for content structure?
    • Power dynamic of this approach? When is it positive, when is it negative
    • Content that provides arc of understanding
  • You have to ask me specific questions in order for me to be useful to you
  • What is a good content delivery system/tactic
  • creating a manual which is applicable to different communities is hard/impossible, so how do we produce guidelines which can work across contexts
  • if you're communicating with a specific community, that frames a means of engagement with the content
  • what's the best delivery tactic?
  • localization? how is it useful in this context
  • localization is always specific to both source and target
  • how do value the people who act as those kinds of bridge figures
  • "I think this is what you're saying, here's how I'd say it" instead of "i think you're wrong"
  • people don't always like having their statements reframed/reformulated
  • however someone identifies, they may only want to hear from others within their sphere
  • Is it that, when someone is told from the outside that they're "doing it wrong" (aka, when someone from outside reformulates their language), do they feel as though the work they're doing within the group has been negated?
  • Even when I frame it as translation, there isn't appreciation for it. "Would you say that...?" "yes but" "If you framed it that way, I would be able to get it faster." People are often into it for a metaphorical 10 minutes, and then wonder what is wrong with you. These mean the same, why do you insist ost on re-wording?
  • When someone is used to being in a context, and you're from outside of that, it's upsetting to have to expand that. Being told your bubble doesn't encompass teh whole world is invalidating.

Do we have stories about content working (or not) across cultures?

  • Not acknowledging loss of information from translation to both sides. Peripheral stuff is important. "But when I put it this way, I lose this thing."
  • Thinking about the work of translating, RTFM. LGBTQ "Safe Space" stickers. What if there was a "safe translator" sticker? Ask me the stupid quiestion, I won't mock you and tell you you're an idiot. Can be a cycling role. "Ask A Feminist" or Mediator Network.
  • Montreal had a committment to consensus across groups. Anyone participating had to understand it. Everyone had to have facilitation training. There are skilled facilitators, but everyone should be able to engage through a facilitation process. Encourage people to be a better translator, even if that isn't their role. Part of being a translator is fostering others to be translators.
  • (Willow is drawing a Venn diagram) Is there too much concern with being inclusive that we skip people through the barrier to entry when they haven't gone through "checks"
  • Including people turning into excluding people
  • "Inclusive" but not actually providing equal access.
  • Inclusion is trying to make what you're doing accessible but also being accessible to others. If they want to include someone in their group it's going to change the space.
  • Who is meeting whom where they are, is the group supposed to mold themselves to you or vice versa
  • As a "token" it becomes more difficult to feel included.
  • "Ok to focus but look up and critic and change yourselves"
  • What are we creating that bridges the gaps
  • What is negotiable and what is not
    • What is opinion/behavior/flexible/truth
  • Every context, every group has a thing that they are not willing to budge on. What happens when you have groups where the things they are not willing to compromise on are not aligning. Can you still have a productive and respectful conversation "agreeing to disagree"
  • Sometimes this is why we just don't have conversations with particular groups or people--not obligated to communicate with everyone, or to have circular conversations that aren't getting anywhere.
  • We don't have to assume that everyone has to take on the same roles. Some people *like* wading into the circular conversations to try and straighten them out; others do better stepping away; not everyone uses the same tactics in every situation.


  • Specific people who are mediators and translators. Better equipped inside of these spaces. Is that a positive or negative, having people in that role specifically?
    • Comment moderators on a blog, that control model doesn't go well in some places. What if we took "translation" into that space online? What if, instead of intervening in a thread, we go through "hey, I think you're having a mistranslation here." invite both people into an OTR record to work through communicating across differences. Not public, so not performative. No fear of internet jumping on you? Strangers, trust...
    • Person designated to be moderator. How can you trust that person to be fair? That they're translating well. Might be able to see commonalities of language, but do they get the topic? Checking in with participants to be sure it's getting through.
    • Having that be something people can opt into, rather than being default. Understanding it's a process.
    • Understanding IS a process.
    • Valuing translators, having it be a thing people WANT to do.
    • Does this help with someone from dominant group comes into safe space for another group and feel unwelcome? Don't change the original space, but step into side space to do the translation work.
  • There are different points of communication. In-group, bridging, etc. No one blog post is going to cover EVERYTHING for EVERYONE.

there are lots of people who aren't aware of what power imbalances they're a part of

is it easier who are members of multiple groups to perceive the distinction between larger group/marginal group?

How do you communicate that perception to folks who haven't directly experienced it?

Visibility helps with this.

Trickle down economics is bullshit; can we do trickle-up empathetics