Gay rights is always a sensitive topic, but in the past few years, it’s gone from sensitive to insane. When I took these pictures in 2016, the UK had just voted Brexit. The atmosphere was still fairly chilled, but nothing compared to what a typical London parade normally has to offer. Let’s face it; the EU has done a lot for equality.
This was only the beginning of a very long, nerve-wracking debate about equal rights, and once Trump came to power, all the rights that we have fought for in the last century, seem to have disappeared out of the window.
As always, the tech sector responded like we always do. The code is neutral – so, technically, we could provide solutions independently of the state. Independently of any state that is. So in theory: vote and say whatever you want. Bottom line is that, if I write the code and other people use, it doesn’t really matter what the politicians think and who they are.
If this is true, maybe there a chance for us to make an alternative world where the state has no way of stopping equal rights, I thought as I walked down the Oxford street passing by loads of crazy unicorns. In other words: if we have the power to communicate through the Internet, the De Facto law becomes irrelevant.
There are tons and tons of LGBT apps; Hornet, Grindr, Her… and a few others as you can see above. So, if you’re gay, looking for a partner, you should be pretty sorted. Unless, of course, you live in a country where the states controls search engines I thought as the ‘Gay Refugees’ Group” walked past with a smile on their face. It’s even worse when the state says that it’s legal, but then pretends to be your date just to name and shame, I thought as another group matched under a Russian flag.
In fact, for many of these countries, these apps could make it worse and make it easier to chase the LGBT community. For example, local-based function gives them access not only to yourself, but people around you, making tracking a whole community a piece of cake. This is, of course, not exclusive to developing countries. With a massive back clash on equality within the US and Europe, fascist movements and pure nut cases running around, these apps put a whole social group in danger.
We can bypass this though two types of code:
- An online identity,
- A complete anonymity
This is an oxymoron, but hear me out. Both these are technically possible though the use of data mining, for example. So, when someone logs in through Google or Facebook, we can very clearly see the habits, the movements, the posts and very quickly make a profile – a 100% accurate profile of the user. But, of course, it crashes with the complete anonymity which, technically, also is very possible though encoded info (same way as WhatApp encodes the texts, for example).
So is there a way to write a code that can identify the person while leaving him completely anonymous?
The answer is: there is. In the same way everyone in a gay parade is completely identifiable and almost anonymous at the same time. Do we want to do it? I definitely do.