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Let's End Inequities Between LGBT and Straight Labels for Adult Material
So far, StumbleUpon has transferred LGBT culture categories from the "not safe" list to the "safe list." This took place several week ago. We have accomplished half of our goal, so congrats!!
Meanwhile, LGBT sex remains on the "not safe" list because, according to a rep from StumbleUpon, those categories lead to pornographic sites. Below is an email I sent on 3/14/13 to the rep from StumbleUpon who has been corresponding with me. Hopefully, if we continue to pressure (positively encourage) StumbleUpon, they will make the categories more equitable.
Dear (rep from StumbleUpon):
It's been a week since my last message to you. As I've not received a
reply, I am following up to clarify and to see if we can negotiate a
I have read your responses carefully, and I understand the rationale for keeping "sexual health" on the safe list without labeling it according to different sexual orientations. Also, I understand the rationale for keeping LGBT sex on the not safe list because the majority of websites associated with it are pornographic. So, both of these category settings seem reasonable.
However, the concern regarding equality arises in the labeling of pornographic categories on the not safe list. The inequality exists here: on the not safe list, LGBT pornography is labeled "LGBT sex" while non-LGBT pornography is simply labeled "pornography." This distinction basically implies LGBT sex automatically equals LGBT pornography, while "pornography" automatically means the content is heterosexual sex only.
I've clearly heard your explanation that the majority of StumbleUpon users understand the distinction. Yet, I've not heard from you that the distinction is equitable.
To make the not safe list equitable for all sexual orientations, there are basically three solutions:
1. Rename "pornography" as "straight sex" in order to match the labeling of LGBT sex, or
2. Rename LGBT sex as "LGBT pornography" in order to match the assumption that "pornography" automatically means "straight sex," or
3. Rename all pornography categories according to the associated sexual orientation: LGBT pornography and Straight pornography (which will negate any assumptions).
I am asking you to consider a positive resolution to the inequality described earlier. Several of the individuals who have signed the petition have also expressed their opinion about the current labels on the not safe list. For those who have expressed their concerns, the inequality is no small matter to ignore:
Are you satisfied with changes StumbleUpon has made (as of 3.1.13)?
Does it matter to you to have your sex life associated with porn?
Thank you for taking the time to read this lengthy email and for potentially negotiating a satisfactory conclusion.
Update #1Posted by Suzanne K Coleman (Campaign Leader) on Mar 28
We did it!!
Our efforts to pressure StumbleUpon to end discrimination against LGBTQ communities was a fabulous success! We had two main objectives: challenge StumbleUpon to (1) transfer LGBT culture tags from NSFW list to the safe list, and (2) present the labels for LGBT sex in an equitable manner (preferably renaming the labels to LGBT sexual health and transferring renamed labels to the safe list).…
According to a representative from this popular online service, user-submitted ...
We did it!!
Our efforts to pressure StumbleUpon to end discrimination against LGBTQ communities was a fabulous success! We had two main objectives: challenge StumbleUpon to (1) transfer LGBT culture tags from NSFW list to the safe list, and (2) present the labels for LGBT sex in an equitable manner (preferably renaming the labels to LGBT sexual health and transferring renamed labels to the safe list).
According to a representative from this popular online service, user-submitted websites tagged as LGBT sex mostly contain adult and pornographic content. In the same NSFW list, the tag pornography contains adult entertainment primarily catering to the straight community. We attempted to persuade the contact person at StumbleUpon to at least rename pornography to straight sex so that it would match the LGBT sex tags. Unfortunately, this final request was denied.
StumbleUpon's mysterious methods of managing user-submitted / user-tagged websites made certain requests nearly impossible to fix without compromising the NSFW-free list. This information is important to understand: We respect their reasoning, as it would have been labor intensive, distracting their programmers from their ultimate goal of restructuring the entire tagging system. So, the smart thing to do for StumbleUpon was to leave LGBT sex topics as is on the NSFW list. This way, minors and those using computers in work settings or public places would not unintentionally stumble upon NSFW websites.
Regardless of any unfulfilled requests, our campaign produced a very exciting outcome! LGBT culture tags were transferred to the safe list (non-NSFW). This we can celebrate!! We raised awareness about blatant Internet segregation of the LGBT community. We successfully challenged a popular website aggregate service to treat lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender culture tags safe and included among the general audience. Essentially, on StumbleUpon's website, LGBT culture tagged websites now share equal space with topics considered safe for all to view. Once again, this is a huge step towards raising awareness about inequalities between straight and LGBTQ communities in connection with social media websites.
StumbleUpon has not given a specific time frame or details of their restructuring plan, except to say it should take a year. It will be interesting to see how they practice equitable treatment of all tags related to LGBTQ communities. This is one project worth monitoring!
In sending out this final update for the campaign aimed at StumbleUpon, I personally want to thank all who signed and shared the petition, those who responded to questionnaires, and those who accepted challenges to take action. Without this global community standing up for equal treatment among LGBTQ communities, one person's request most likely would not have achieved such a significant outcome. Also, I personally want to thank the representatives from StumbleUpon who took the time to read and respond to several emails pinpointing specific concerns. I appreciate their willingness to work with the people supporting this cause. Finally, I emphatically want to thank Kellen from Causes. She provided plenty of positive feedback along with suggestions on modifying segments of this effort in order for it to be more effective. Together, all of those mentioned above made a difference benefiting the LGBTQ community!
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