The final episode of Feminist Digital Futures features Erika Smith, who emphasizes the importance of freedom, transparency and fun in feminist imaginations of social media. Erika discusses how social media algorithms can foist violent content on users, why we need to foreground choice when it comes to internet access, why reform in platform design and governance needs to move beyond being tokenistic, and what the on-ground impact of social media content moderation programs have been like.

Episode Navigation
00:10: Introduction
00:47: About Erika
02:46: How gender and other identities affect experiences of the online sphere
07:18: Why equal access to and participation in social media is a feminist issue
13:38: Erika’s vision of a feminist social media
17:51: How platform design and governance needs to change, from a feminist and Global South perspective
22:04: Impact of platform content moderation programs
28:16: Conclusion

Erika Smith has collaborated in several projects strategizing against online gender-based violence since 2005 and the Take Back the Tech global coordinating team. Based in Mexico, Erika works in the Women’s Rights Programme of the Association for Progressive Communications as part of the capacity building and networking strategy team, striving to make a feminist internet a reality and raising awareness in internet rights, digital safety and against OGBV. Originally from the US, Erika has lived in Mexico for over three decades where she started training women on the strategic use of computers and the internet in the early 90’s. With a Masters Degree in IberoAmerican Studies, her educational background focused on women’s social movements and she became involved in ICT as a feminist organizer and part of ISP LaNeta’s user support team. She is also on the board of the interpreter and translator collective Tlatolli Ollin/Words in Movement, dedicated to providing quality translation and interpretation on social justice issues.

Hosted by: Tanvi Kanchan
Research and conceptualization: Nandini Chami & Tanvi Kanchan
Post-production: Tanvi Kanchan
Podcast artwork by: Harmeet Rahal

This podcast series has been produced as part of the Feminist Digital Justice project, a joint policy research and advocacy initiative of IT for Change and DAWN (Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era). The series is co-supported by the World Wide Web Foundation.