The internet allows like-minded people to unite and exchange information quickly. The openness, scalability and hyperconnectivity of the internet can promote the emancipation of certain groups.
But, as we concluded in our study Harmful Behaviour Online, these same basic features can also facilitate harmful behaviour. These include things like: online hatred, bullying, revenge porn and the spread of disinformation. Groups in society that are discriminated against are particularly at risk of becoming victims of such harmful behaviour online. So the internet is not automatically emancipating for everyone.
Together with people from the LGBTQ+ community and a design collective, the Rathenau Instituut is investigating how online environments can be empowering. We are working on a prototype of an inclusive online environment and a research report with recommendations for designers, developers, politicians and policymakers.
With this project, the Rathenau Instituut aims to contribute to make online environments more inclusive. The project is partly made possible by funding from the SIDN Fund.