The technical is political – tech’s role in oppression and what technicians can do against it


Playlists: '36c3' videos starting here / audio

Where did all the nice things go? The World Wide Web had plenty. Everyone had Neopets, Geocities and Tom from MySpace as their top friend. Where did all the women go? Computing had plenty of them. The first computers were women. This talk is going to answer these and more questions. Starting with the technical underpinnings of the internet – explained on a beginner-friendly level. It takes you through the history of the web and computing, focussing on the exclusion of women out of the work sphere. It will illustrate that the tech industry as a whole has been complicit in oppression for far too long, but also show recent examples of organised workers, trying to change things for the better. In the second part, it will use these learnings to make the case for building and promoting inclusive, accessible communities and websites. It’s time to take back the web. PSA: There might be occurrences of cats, trance dolphins and other mystical creatures of the digital sphere along the way.