Content Creation for the Online Activist

Marketing content strategy for sex positive educators and activists

Thanks to everyone who attended and participated in this session at CatalystCon East. What a great and engaged crowd! I had a great time sharing with and learning from you all.

Facebook and poly privacy

Is it OK to list my relationship status as “open” on Facebook if my girlfriend isn’t out publicly?

This question came up in the Poly Weekly inbox this week. It’s one we’ve touched on on the podcast several times, but it’s worth a quick evaluation here on the blog as well. Social networking sites such as Facebook have really changed the definition of being “out.” Facebook currently has over 800 million users, Twitter has 250 million and even budding visual social site Pinterest crossed the 10 million user mark faster than any other site in history.

And since Facebook is notorious for having complicated privacy settings that are difficult to navigate and not entirely guaranteed to ensure privacy levels, online privacy on social sites is a growing concern.

Polyamory’s legal status

Now, in general, I’m not a fan of being too much in the closet. Unlike sexual orientation, however, polyamory isn’t a legally protected orientation. Practitioners can be fired or not hired due to their lifestyle and have no legal recourse. So keep in mind that apart from your family and friends discovering orientation through Facebook, your employment status may be at risk as well. After all, Facebook is the second most trafficked site in the world, and many recruiters use Facebook as a recruiting tool; it would be irresponsible of them not to take all the information available into consideration for future employment. (And users benefit from using Facebook for job hunting, too–that same infographic shows that 48% of job seekers have performed at least one job hunting activity on Facebook in the last year and that 16% received a job referral from a Facebook friend.)

Outside of Facebook, it’s also true that any responsible employer will Google new prospects and have access to any of your personal information that is publicly available, including anything you might have posted about your religion, sexual orientation, political views, and medical status. It’s not legal for an employer to ask for this information, but it is legal to Google a prospective employee and peruse publicly available information.

How open is OK?

So this is a case where your boyfriend’s openness could in fact affect not only your private family life but your ability to remain employed as well. Personally, I solved this issue by keeping two Facebook accounts–one vanilla one in which I’m listed as “single” and so can talk about dating, and my Minx account, which lists my open status and LustyGuy as my boyfriend (who links to his wife). However, I wouldn’t recommend that for most people. It’s cumbersome to manage two Facebook accounts and frankly wouldn’t be worth the effort for most users.

But the truth is that the internet and social sites such as Facebook have indeed changed things. Your boyfriend’s public open status does affect you in many ways, not the least of which is that now anyone with mutual Facebook friends can discover you are poly. For most people, this might be a public embarrassment or cause some eyebrow raises at the office or at Thanksgiving, nothing more. If that’s the case, no worries. But keep in mind that in addition to your your mom and grandma being able to discover your open status, that bitter ex-husband might also see that Facebook status. And unfortunately, that documentation has been used in child custody cases to argue against a person being a fit parent.

I don’t mean to be too gloom and doom here. The point is that since data lives forever online and Facebook has shameful privacy policies, it is perfectly acceptable–nay, it’s your responsibility–to discuss public online disclosures of your relationship status in order to protect your own privacy.

Rule of thumb

A good rule of thumb is the “grandmother rule”: assume that every piece of information you are putting online will be read by the one person you don’t want to see it (i.e., your grandma). Also, ask permission before posting any public information about a partner. It is a good idea to ask before you post:

  • Location information
  • Relationship status
  • Photos
  • Information about dates, parties or events

I’m curious about how others handle privacy and posting to social networks and other Googleable information. What is your policy?

Personal branding for the sex-positive educator

So excited to debut my new talk on personal branding on the social web for the sex-positive educator, activist and organizer!

Thanks again to the Atlanta Poly Weekend staff for bringing me out; it’s been a wonderful experience!

Poly Weekly #211: Listener feedback frenzy

This week’s Poly Weekly #211: Listener feedback frenzy.

Download the mp3 directly!

0:00 Introduction and host chat
Intro, under-18 warning and re-direction to www.scarleteen.com; friend me on Twitter and answer questions about what you want on the show, call 206-202-POLY with comments or discuss your own topics at the forums at http://forum.polyweekly.com.

[Rough show notes; full show notes to come]
Poly Anime documentation
YouTube Facebook video

Wrap-up
Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email cunningminx@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at polyweekly.libsyn.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

Want Poly Weekly for your very own? Get the Best of Poly Weekly collection from PodDisc.com

Our intro and outro music is courtesy of Pacemaker Jane, “Good Suspicions”

Poly Weekly #210: I’m jealous of Facebook!

This week’s Poly Weekly #210: I’m jealous of Facebook!.

Download the mp3 directly!

0:00 Introduction and host chat
Intro, under-18 warning and re-direction to www.scarleteen.com; friend me on Twitter and answer questions about what you want on the show, call 206-202-POLY with comments or discuss your own topics at the forums at http://forum.polyweekly.com.

Topic: Does Facebook make you jealous?
If you’re the jealous type, avoid Facebook
Full study

Feedback: Poly Weekly #206: Sanford and Sin
The Atlantic rebuttal
Salon’s response

Wrap-up
Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email cunningminx@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at polyweekly.libsyn.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

Want Poly Weekly for your very own? Get the Best of Poly Weekly collection from PodDisc.com

Our intro and outro music is courtesy of Pacemaker Jane, “Good Suspicions”

Make a Donation

Poly Weekly Playmates!

Wanna play?
CatalystCon West '14

Poly Weekly on Facebook

Poly Weekly on Twitter