Queer Censorship: LGBTQ Information Controls

This session is facilitated by Miles Kenyon, Adam Senft

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About this session

The session will begin with an overview of work Citizen Lab is conducting on LGBTQ2+ websites being blocked around the world, including a case study of Canadian web filtering company Netsweeper. Websites that are routinely blocked relate to LGBT news and culture, HIV/AIDS organizations, and advocacy organizations. Following this, we’ll investigate the technical aspects of this blocking as well as its social implications. Lastly, we’ll discuss strategies for furthering this work, including practices and policies that are threats to the Internet freedoms of LGBTQ2+ populations in select countries, including authoritarian and semi-authoritarian regimes, with special emphasis on the impact of censorship and surveillance.

Goals of this session

The goal of the session is to discuss preliminary Citizen Lab work being conducted on the blocking of LGBTQ websites around the world and to receive feedback from attendees on how best to advance this variety of network measurement.

Research cited in presentation:

Planet Netsweeper

Chilling Effects: Online Surveillance and Wikipedia Use

Smartfilter: Miscategorization and Filtering in Saudi Arabia and UAE

Reckless Exploit

Tender Confirmed, Rights at Risk

The Predator in Your Pocket: A Multidisciplinary Assessment of the Stalkerware Application Industry

Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, its Causes, and Consequences


Security Planner:

Digital Security Helpline:

Stalking Resource Centre:


OONI Run List:

Testing List Repository: