Issue 43

the Week of November 14, 2016
Rows of lit small candles glowing in the dark.

In this issue, we explore the dangers of real name policies in virtual reality, discuss how marginalization and privilege function in the sex tech industry, and critique colonialism as it manifests in data management practices. We examine the tech interview process and its failings, and speak with the founder of a new site changing representation through stock photography. Plus, how tech workers can leverage their workplaces to shift resources to important causes. Photo CC-BY Dennis Benkert.

The BDSM flag flying in the Castro, Twin Peaks rising behind it.

On the Risks of Being Kinky and Female in Tech

I exist for men’s own sexual self-exploration, a freak without my own right to privacy or freedom from public shame, a resource for their own self-discovery -- that like all things in an on-demand world, they feel entitled to access at any time.

Accounting paperwork, glasses and a calculator.

How Tech Employees Can Use Corporate Donation Matching

Being a tech worker means wielding a tremendous amount of privilege, and with that privilege comes a non-negotiable obligation to help those less privileged out.

Series of undressed, headless white mannequins lined up in an empty store.

The Line Between Innovation & Pleasure: On Tech And The Sex Toy Industry

Presumption of a disposable income, able-bodied access and ability to use any tool, while prioritizing heterosexual monogamy, whiteness and cis identity, all create a sex toy culture that rejects and erases marginalized users.

Map of the underwire active and planned submarine cable systems around the world. For the purposes of this article, the map illustrates the vast number of internet cables that cluster around the Western world.

Data Colonialism: Critiquing Consent and Control in “Tech for Social Change”

Lack of ethical processes around data collection and management, and ongoing Western control over data, continue the legacy of colonialism within aid work.

Close-up of the red asphalt of a race track.

Detrimental Effects of “Best in Show” Hiring Processes in Tech

There’s plenty of evidence that the competitive, “best in show” approach used in interviewing extends into the core of tech culture itself.

The first VR prototype: a bulky contraption with a mounted screen over the eyes, thick wires and cords attached to a mannequin head.

Welcome to Virtual Reality: Valid Identification Required

While you’re exploring virtual reality, Facebook is exploring you.

A collage of images from Colorstock. Photos in the collage include a Black couple in a wedding portrait, a Black child being swung between her parents' arms, as well as images of people typing on laptops, and a table with tea and an iPhone.

Diversifying Stock Photography: An Interview with Jenifer Daniels, Founder and CEO of Colorstock

"The internet in and of itself is very male and very pale and very English. The way that we write copy, the way we code, the way we find solutions to technical problems, all ascribe to that philosophy of 'white, male and pale.'"

This issue is made possible in part by some of our generous readers: Pipeline AngelsJulie Pagano, Kristy Tillman and Adam Cavan.