In this talk, I will discuss my ethnographic fieldwork on new digital approaches to addressing child exploitation online, such as the use of avatars and image detection software. What sort of partnerships are necessary between law enforcement, scientists, and non-governmental agencies to make these approaches work? What does a critical feminist analysis of such technoscientific practices look like? I look forward to an open discussion on questions of youth sexuality and rights online, governance and privacy, and possibilities for feminist technology design.
Mitali Thakor is a PhD student in MIT's HASTS program. She studies sex work, sex trafficking, technology, and digital forensics. Mitali uses Feminist STS, queer theory, and critical race studies to explore the ways in which activists, computer scientists, lawyers, and law enforcement officials negotiate their relationships to anti-trafficking via emergent technologies and discourses of carceral control.