The team shared:
“Femsplain is a fully functional, community-powered publisher founded in October 2014 to inspire change through storytelling. We are a place to share experiences, all of life’s moments from the awkward to the amazing, and everything in between. We’re more than a website or events – we’re a movement. We are providing a safe space to connect, learn and grow with other female-identified people. Everything you see was written by someone like you.
“We’re a diverse collective (sexuality, racial, economic, career, geographical, etc.) or doers who have made it our mission to change the dialogue of what it’s like to be a woman – and in doing so, make our world a better place.”
During its time on the crowdfunding platform, Femsplain successfully secured over $30,000. Now, just six months after its campaign to a close, the website’s team unveiled the online community that is dedicated to feminism called Femplain Beta.
“As much as I adore the Internet and all the good it’s offered, I also despise how awful it’s become. I’ve spoken many times on how I’ve been a victim of cyber harassment, from having nude photos stolen and spread far and wide, to personal information being leaked and as a result getting verbally harassed daily. But cases of harassment via the Internet and silencing the female-identified voice aren’t new or hard to find. In an article covering the suicide of respected game developer and trans woman Rachel Bryk, the author says, ‘Harassment, notably in places like 4chan, unfortunately exists because the community allows it.’ We will not allow it.
“Recently, news sites such as The Verge and The Daily Dot have put their comments section on hold. ‘The general consensus is that we need to detoxify the Web — to make it a cleaner, nicer, safer and more inclusive place to live and work,’ The Daily Dot statement says. While the traditional model has always been, ‘If you build it, they will come,’ we as an Internet society are realizing that it’s not always that simple. While it’s frustrating and can be somewhat hopeless to go through the comments, it’s a very important part of keeping a growing community happy and healthy. The Dot’s sentiment also mentions that ‘no one has quite figured out how to thread that needle yet, even those who have invested significantly in their own internal systems.” And we wholeheartedly agree. Basically, comments sections as we know them have got to go.
“In 10 months we’ve successfully grown our audience through various social media channels, but realized we don’t truly own these audiences or their interactions. The comments we receive on Femsplain are generally positive and conversational thanks to moderation and tone of the content we publish. We encourage you to go read them! We’ve also noticed that Femsplain writers are not necessarily industry writers and use their pieces to showcase their talents. Keeping these and many other observations in mind, we’ve decided to focus our efforts on building the next version of the Femsplain product.
“Introducing: the Femsplain Community Platform, the future of online communities for content publishing websites. Very soon, we’ll be inviting groups of people to test and give feedback on our Beta product. Each week we’ll invite more and more people to sign up and participate until we open up our registration to the public.”
During a recent interview with TechCrunch, Gordon explained that she is looking to build a broader platform for online discussion groups:
“We feel that Femsplain‘s content is helping focus the conversation on the issues through discussing personal experiences vs. just having a bunch of noise talking into the social media void. By bringing context and a voice to the conversation, we feel that the contributed content can not only kickstart awareness but also steer the conversation into a productive way. With that said we will be encouraging content from outside of Femsplain for our community to discuss. Even though we focus on personal experiences we make sure we’re also discussing important current events and issues.”
The media outlet noted that anyone will be able to sign up as a reader, allowing you to browse the discussions and “heart” individual posts, but you’ll need an authenticated member account to actually post.
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