Talking about heteronormative bias on the internet with The Digital Closet author Alexander Monea
Yesterday, we hosted the first of a series of book talks we are presenting in partnership with the MIT Press. Author Alexander Monea joined us to talk about his book The Digital Closet: How the Internet Became Straight, in conversation with Angel Ysaguirre, executive director of the University of Chicago’s Court Theatre. If you weren’t able to join us, we invite you to watch a recording of the conversation here.
This discussion about the infrastructure of the internet and how coding labor, algorithms, and content moderation policies govern what is visible and invisible online was particularly relevant as libraries across the United States stand together in the fight against censorship. In the foreword to The Digital Closet, author and journalist Violet Blue writes “Our experience of the internet and therefore our ability to work, play, grow, heal and love is warped by structures of power.” The aftereffect of censorship is harm, and banning books and overblocking LGBTQIA+ community resources and sex-positive content online rob us of the opportunity to learn and build mutual understanding.
We thank Alex Monea for taking the time to share this important research and how we can ameliorate harm through collective action, and Angel Ysaguirre for his insightful moderation of this conversation.