MCC Research Fellow Awarded Funding for FemTechNet Collaboration

A collaboration that will include postdoctoral research fellow Seda Gurses has received funding from the Digital Media and Learning Trust Challenge, which aims to foster trust in online learning environments.

Their Resilience Network: Addressing Anti-Feminist Violence Online project will establish an open, accessible set of tools for combating harassment. The group will publish tools and tips in a digital format, and will host in-person, as well as virtual, events to produce and share resources. They will connect industry, policy makers, academics, and community activists to facilitate communal responses to abuse. 

The 1.2 million dollar Trust Challenge is in response to the 2014 Aspen Task Force Report Learner at the Center of a Networked World, which issued a call to action for the development of safe online learning platforms and networks.

"The Internet and social media represent incredible opportunities to learn, but solutions to ensure youth feel safe in online spaces and are confident their online data are used in their best interest have not kept pace," said Connie Yowell, Director of Education at the MacArthur Foundation.

"This competition was designed to surface the most promising approaches to help foster trust amongst youth, their parents, mentors and teachers in using the online world for learning. Winning projects include tools to provide greater transparency—in a straightforward, easy-to-understand way—into who can see young people's data, to programs that foster greater civility and respect amongst users in online spaces. Trust, privacy, and safety are critical to learning in an open, online world, and the winners of the Trust Challenge will help us reach this vision."

FemTechNet is an activated network of scholars, artists, and students who work on, with, and at the borders of technology, science and feminism in a variety of fields including STS, Media and Visual Studies, Art, Women’s, Queer, and Ethnic Studies.