System error: why CNN will report online on gender inequality

Provided you can go online or have a mobile phone, the internet, social media platforms, digitized payment and telecommunication systems have given us incredible access to information; facilitated communication and connection with people around the world; enabled us to create or join communities or businesses, or support movements for change, almost anywhere in the world and much more. Automation and machine learning algorithms lead to unprecedented efficiency and greater personalization.

Yet leaders in the public and private sectors are betting big on the continued acceleration of digital transformation. That is why it is essential to ask: who wins and who loses? What are some of the assumptions built into these technologies that have become ubiquitous? Do we like the direction of travel and how do we turn the ship around if it doesn’t?
At As Equals, CNN’s global gender reporting team, we’ve explored these questions through the lens of digital technology’s impact on women, queer people, and gender minorities, particularly those in the Global South.

Over the course of six separate conversations last summer for a month last summer, we brought together people who work at the intersection of gender and technology and asked them what issues keep popping up; what opportunities and challenges are worthy of the spotlight; what is urgent and poorly understood about how women’s lives — and our societies as a whole — are being impacted by digital technologies.

The overwhelming feedback was this: first, that in many parts of the world your gender identity determines whether you can even go online and once you do, that identity determines your online experience. Women and gender minorities are less safe online than men.
Second, there is no silver bullet. Shutting down the internet or even platforms when people are not safe are solutions used by repressive states to further exclude or control minority groups, even in so-called progressive ones. Moreover, despite all their faults, women and gender minorities have been able to use digital tools and platforms to their advantage.

Third, the way tools and platforms work today doesn’t mean their course is set forever. Citizens can shape the internet and the path of our digital future. We just need to know how.

So, for much of the rest of this year, under the direction of editor Meera Senthilngam, As Equals will continue to produce the award-winning journalism we are known for. have gone online and thinking about how to fix these errors. We start with an investigation [add story link] which shows that women who oppose military rule in Myanmar have had their personal information shared on public Telegram channels, along with sexually explicit images and misogynistic abuse. The intention? To silence women, who have played a vital role in organizing pro-democracy protests since the February 2021 coup.

Recognizing that many of us don’t know – or need to be reminded – of the ways we can make ourselves safer online (even as we try to change the systems that make us unsafe). As Equals will create accessible guides to accompany our reporting. These shareable and storable resources help CNN’s audience learn about online risks and provide steps to make your online presence more secure.

Senthilingam said: “The internet has provided hope, connection and opportunity to billions of people, but we have to face the fact that that same connectedness has also created a really harsh reality for many women and gender minorities. How can the media do more of the good and less bad? One way is to show people both realities and let them play a part in doing something about it.”

She added: “Experts unanimously told us that an important step towards a better and safer internet is raising awareness and understanding of what’s happening online and how to protect yourself, so here’s what we plan to do. ”

For more information about the series, please contact the series editor, Meera Senthilingam, or As Equals’ Managing Editor Eliza Anyangwe, by emailing: [email protected]

System error: why CNN will report online on gender inequality

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