A collaboration between articule and the Artifact Institute, this interdisciplinary event will explore perspectives on the consumption, use, disposal, repair, re-use and obsolescence of electronic equipment. The forum will consider how the Montreal community is responding to the ever-increasing volume of electronic equipment that is perceived as obsolete, valueless or disposable, and engage the wider contexts of these issues.
While I was preparing my presentation "Critique féministe de la production des technologies de l'information et de la communication" for the 80'th congress of ACFAS (held this year in Montreal), I was called by the Devoir journalist Hélène Roulot-Ganzmann who considered that the topic was particularly interesting, and wanted to know more.
Why are women minority in the ICT/IT field? Why is the gap widening instead of reducing? Where are women in the I(C)T sector? We discussed in detail all these questions. The journalist, rarely informed before calling, was well aware of most of my work, and also of the technical definitions. I was afraid the article will be over the top, too difficult to explain the basics in such a short time. But I was gladly surprised for the result.
What does Google have to do with abortion rights around the world? Why should search engine change with respect to the country you search from? These and many other questions come out by reading Mosum Momaya`s Is Google Violating Women's Rights?
At the time of this writing, when searching for the relevant translation of “abortion” in each of the fifteen localized Google search engines, no sponsored links appeared in any of the countries – for abortion-related services or otherwise. Incidentally, no AdWords come up either in China - a country that heavily restricts search results for many topics – Greece or South Korea. Meanwhile, AdWords featuring abortion service providers do appear in localized searches in Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK and the US.
For about an year now Google has in its policy a clause that states that will no longer "accept ads that promote abortion services in fifteen countries", among which Germany, France, Spain, China. Why should some countries differ from others by Google standards, in terms so far away from what search engine companies should be worrying about like abortion rights? And why does it seem to me that the Pope is paying the salaries of some Google Inc. decision-makers? This selective policy sounds very much like the Catholic religious freaks who decide to limit women's rights (such as abortion rights) for no sensible (nor religious) reason.
With this policy revision, it appears that Google Inc. has chosen to steer clear of controversy, avoiding any kind of related ads altogether in the fifteen specified countries. The shift in and specificity of the company’s policy indicates it is taking a stronger role in verifying and deciding what ads are placed – a move that has policy and ethical implications.
Interestingly, decisions are taken on a selective basis, by a corporation that is big and influential enough not to take childish decisions. At the same time, the AdWords freak me enough in thinking how much lack of privacy exist in gmail.com for example - by tracking each keyword of my e-mail and flooding me with ads which I haven't even asked for.
Yet another proof there is no privacy over internet, neither there is net justice, or net neutrality. Internet is everywhere, but there is a lot of controversy, one of which is the access to information, and the right to this information, as a human right.
I am proud to announce my latest article Feminist Media Coverage of the Social Forums that got published in the Gender and Development magazine vol.15, No.3, November 2007 by Oxfam GB. To access the full text of the publication, please visit Feminist media coverage of the Social Forum. Visit the Gender & Development Magazine to find more and interesting articles related to women and media.