"Facebook Promotes More Harassment": Social Media Ecosystem, Skill and Marginalized Hijra Identity in Bangladesh

02/04/2021
by   Fayika Farhat Nova, et al.
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Social interaction across multiple online platforms is a challenge for gender and sexual minorities (GSM) due to the stigmatization they face, which increases the complexity of their self-presentation decisions. These online interactions and identity disclosures can be more complicated for GSM in non-Western contexts due to consequentially different audiences and perceived affordances by the users, and limited baseline understanding of the conflation of these two with local norms and the opportunities they practically represent. Using focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews, we engaged with 61 Hijra individuals from Bangladesh, a severely stigmatized GSM from south Asia, to understand their overall online participation and disclosure behaviors through the lens of personal social media ecosystems. We find that along with platform audiences, affordances, and norms, participant skill/knowledge, and cultural influences also impact navigation through multiple platforms, resulting in differential benefits from privacy features. This impacts how Hijra perceive online spaces, and shape their self-presentation and disclosure behaviors over time. Content Warning: This paper discusses graphic contents (e.g. rape and sexual harassment) related to Hijra.

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