We demand StumbleUpon remove the categorization of LGBTQ topics as "Not Safe for Work" (NSFW). Currently, all of the topics considered "safe for work" do not include any that are LGBTQ-related. Consequently, this setup is discriminatory towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning communities.
Suzanne K. Richards-Coleman
This petition closed about 1 year ago
The current separation between Sexual Health (listed on the "Yes" safe for work menu) and Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Transsexual Sex (listed on the "No" not safe for work menu due to nudity or adult content) sends the message: "non-heterosexual-related websites are not acceptable for viewing in public places." This implies heterosexuality is normal, while homosexuality and other sexual and gender variances are abnormal. By listing all LGBTQ-related topics separately, users must select "No" even if the link is safe for viewing in public places. For example, a user wants to share news articles about diversity among the LGBTQ community, same-sex parenting, transgender culture, or bisexual relationships. Even though none of the articles contain any graphic words or images, the user would be required to choose a category listed among those not safe for work. Once again, this practice reinforces the message, "only websites catering to the heterosexual community are acceptable for viewing in public places while all other sites are not."
To create an inclusive environment for all users, we recommend building one combined list labeled as "Topics" instead of "Is this page safe for work?" Then, on the following line, we suggest offering the opportunity for all users to mark submitted links as safe or not safe for work. Restructuring the method of submitting links to StumbleUpon according to these recommendations will eliminate implied segregation and a judgmental overtone.
I've been using StumbleUpon frequently to share links related to a website I founded. The website is pro-LGBTQ, designed to provide community support to those who are in the process of reconciling life, faith, and sexuality. In order to grab the attention of the target audience, I often chose Gay Culture or Lesbian Culture from the not safe for work category list. Although I felt uncomfortable with the set up, I had no other choice.
After reading Why Is the Pentagon Blocking LGBT and Progressive Websites?, I felt compelled to take action. The practice of blocking LGBTQ sites and marking them as NSFW without taking the specific content into consideration reinforces several myths about our community. One myth implies sexual activity is the basis and sole purpose of being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, etc. This myth minimizes the whole person who shares many similarities with the straight community. Another myth implies lack of morality. On StumbleUpon, sexual health is listed as a safe for work category while gay and lesbian sex is listed as not safe for work category. Why the difference? Implied here is the idea that heterosexuality is moral (safe for public view) and homosexuality is immoral (not safe for public view).
Why Sign this Petition?
By signing this petition, you are telling Garrett Camp, Founder & Chairman of StumbleUpon, that LGBTQ does not automatically equal NSFW. Whether you are part of the LGBTQ community or an ally, signing this petition means taking a stand against Internet segregation and encouraging equality. Any website with the same structure of categorizing LGBTQ sites affects cyber culture. Addressing one site at a time will eventually lead to eliminating the culture of Internet discrimination.