On November 18th I attended an event (Building for Diversity, a Conversation with Facebook) organized by Out in Tech and hosted at the Facebook New York location. The discussion centered around what technology tools can tech startups (specifically social networking sites) build in order to support and provide a safe space for minority vulnerable groups, in this case the LGBTQ community. The discussion was relevant in part because of the Facebook real name policy controversy and the subsequent steps taken by the social network to address the issue of protecting the identity of LGBTQ users.
From the ensuing discussion there were two key takeaways that stood out for me-
(i) The need for developing forward looking policies along side developing technology safe guards.
(ii) The tenuous balance between building policies that encourage accountability and transparency so as to provide better protection to online users versus developing policies that safeguard and protect anonymity for vulnerable groups such as the LGBTQ community.