Separable Identifiers & Intersectional Collaboration

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Separable Identity and Intersectional Collaboration


Wednesday 4K

Convener: Courtney Brown

Notes-taker(s): Jon Pincus


Discussion notes, key understandings, outstanding questions, observations, and, if appropriate to this discussion: action items, next steps:


Key points


The identity you choose to engage with informs my expectations of your actions.


The identity I choose to reveal informs the interaction with community that I seek.


For the communities we work with, it’s closer to the model of reality. Today, people use four different browsers to accomplish this. It comes down to, do we trust communities and the people in them? “I think the answer is obviously yes.”



Detailed notes:


Separable Identities - facets of identity, alter egos, personas. A multi-person may identify as black. We’re not just one thing, systems push you into categories.


TWTTR: Twitter is a high-capacity commons, what we have is singletons (people) showing up as part of a thundering herd - #MeToo, #IStandWithEmma.


Who’s showing up, how do the represent, how do we use that to further the dialog?


CNTTR -(lCounter): each person who shows up shows their representation with verifiable claims as part of the communities they’re representing (in whole and in part) - different parts of the thundering herd. We have the opportunity to get rough metrics across communities and demographic populations. Another way to guide policy. If these are verifiable claims, have verifiable counts - gets around problems about undercounting as method of oppression.


[Who verifies the claims? The authoritative group … but who’s that? One of the problems Occupy had was there were no leaders, Still, verifiable claims of representation are valuable even if they don’t solve all the problems.]


Next step: if there’s a specific call to action, somebody representing multiple constituencies opens up possibility of the intersectional calls to action.


Maps to governance forms like First Nations, where the tribe designates who’s part of it, and who’s representing them.


Audience: this opens up self-assertion as well. “Identifying with BLM”, can be self-identify. At Web of Trust last month, guy from IBM was talking about micro-credentials, just for showing up at an event.


Audience: a person’s identity is composite. Communities, similarly.


Authority to speak for the community needs to come from the community - compare MLK with Ben Carson.


Intentionally steering clear of the R word - not talking about reputation!


Distributing the capacity for rough consensus of outside observers.


Identities are fluid and change over time. Some identities are dangerous to present. How to deal with that? Are there problems of tokenization? Can someone pass? Camouflage is useful. Perhaps a claim that you’re “just a person”. Which envelope do you send your response in.


The identity you choose to engage with informs my expectations of your actions.


The identity I choose to reveal informs the interaction with community that I seek.


Audience: have we talked about separable identities and safety in the real world? Not explicitly. Many times as a female it’s unsafe to reveal that I’m a female in the internet world … then again there are places I can only be involved in as a female. Or political views.


Changing language to “verifiable credentials”.


The basis of identity in this society is you emerging from your mothers’ birth canal. With community, it’s harder - community has to approve.


NameTag has some similar ideas (although yet the credentials).


ProFinder is a network like LinkedIn that does web crawling


There’s a certain amount of squishiness - it’s a human matter, rough consensus. Can’t avoid the squishiness.


It’s all about trust: what you choose to reveal about your identity is all about much you trust them. “Trusted oracles” and larger questions about delegations of community knowledge.


What are the risks of moving to this model? Need to do A/B comparison via TWTTR.


Camouflage is an acceptable identity.


Suggestion for next steps: building use case models.


For the communities we work with, it’s closer to the model of reality. Today, people use four different browsers to accomplish this. It comes down to, do we trust communities and the people in them? “I think the answer is obviously yes.”