Social Media and the Black Travel Community: From Autonomous Space to Liberated Space

AbstractThis paper reports on findings from an ongoing study of identity-based social media communities that subvert the architecture of internet and other digital tools to evolve autonomous (“safe”) spaces into liberated spaces. The community in question endeavors to provide safe spaces for information and resource sharing. Two compelling trends were found. The first involves entrepreneurship as a feature of liberated spaces. The second involves secret, or “underground” communication hidden in open spaces as a liberatory practice. As part of discussing these trends, the author introduces the idea of liberated spaces and argues for their importance within discussions of the sociocultural aspects of inclusive digital interfaces and digital cultures.

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