Thoughts on privacy and online meetings

technical • tips

Submitted by Nigel, aka SubDirectory (3), 24 May 2020



Lots of us are taking part in online meetings at the moment. They're a great way of keeping in touch with other members of the community around the world, when it's not possible to meet in person.

We thought it would be helpful to post a reminder about privacy, however. It's very easy to take a screenshot of an online meeting, and then share that on social media.

Before you do that, please think carefully. Here's why:

  • Just because someone's on camera in a meeting, that doesn't mean they're happy for people outside that meeting to know they took part
  • If you share a photo of someone in kink gear - for example leather, or rubber - it can travel further online than you think. You might be accidentally outing someone's kink interests to their family or colleagues
  • Treat the presence of someone in a virtual meeting with the same discretion as if you saw them in a gay bar, or a leather bar.
  • If, for some reason, you really do want to take a photo or screengrab of a virtual meeting, tell the meeting first, so that people who don't want to be shown can leave, or turn off their video feeds.
  • Always let people know why you're grabbing a photo, just as you should in a real bar. There's a big difference between "It's for the members only section of BLUF" and "It's for a newspaper article about leather"

The best advice? Always respect the privacy of others - and try to remember how you felt, as you took your first steps into the gay or leather worlds. It may have taken some people ages to pluck up the courage to join an online meeting, and show their face.

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