Style guide for editing this wiki

From Gender and Tech Resources

This is a set of general recommendations for contributing authors. At the same time that we provide you with this, we ask you not to stress too much about following every single one. The important thing is to start writing, these are just guidelines to help you. Also be aware that there will be a group of people who will be reviewing and revising your work at the editorial sprint in Calafou so many of the inconsistencies between the sections will be solved then.

General recommendations

Audience : Always keep in mind that our audience is international. More specifically our target audience is composed of women, trans* persons, LGBTQI, non-binary persons and in general activists interested in gender issues and how to include those into privacy and digital security. The participants who attended the Gender and Technology Institute will be our primary target audience. Therefore when explaining things in the manual you should keep in mind those persons and how you would explain topics to them. For those of you who did not attend, you can think of our audience as activists and woman human rights defenders generally well aware of gender social justice issues but with different levels of understanding of the links between gender and tech, and also different levels of understanding of privacy and digital security.

Thus, it is important to underline the gender social justice and feminist perspectives behind our input. Whenever possible we will refer to real examples and analogies that could specifically concern our audiences. We will also try to mostly reference initiatives and projects that have a gender and/or feminist perspective, . It is also important to inspire and not discourage - people should feel that they can do it! After reading the manual they should feel empowered and eager to adopt safer and more feminist practices when they engage online/offline with technologies. Remember that the title of the manual is “Zen and the art of making tech work for you”!

“Neutral” writing Take care to present the facts - don't tell people what to think e.g. "surveillance is bad" -- if it is and you present the facts, people will come to this conclusion by themselves. Try not to write with a strong political agenda or assumptions so as not to cut off certain audiences or create unnecessary barriers to accessing the content. We will provide examples of threats and gender based violence to make people aware that the internet is a sexist and patriarchal place. So there is no need to state it directly, it will become evident, even for those who were perhaps not already convinced of it.

Voice We would like the guide to be welcoming and friendly so please use simple language, be informal rather than formal and use humour if you want. But be careful with irony and sarcasm, these do not always translate well. Also please don't stress about having to be funny, if it comes it comes. If not, that's also fine!

Structure for input Independently of the amount of pages, you should take into account the following structure recommendations: Begin with the most simple notions/methodologies/tools and go towards more complex notions/methodologies/tools

Structure your content as follows: - A set of questions introducing your section (eg. How can you manage various identities online? Have you ever wondered why there are fewer women in computer sciences? How can I digitise books? How can I make available rare or sensitive materials? Etc) - Introduce notions/theories/concepts people should know about in order to understand what you are talking about (eg. If talking about digital shadows, explain what metadata is / if you refer to getting more women in code, what explain what free software is / if gender gaps, what is gender etc) - Detail the process/methodology you will put on the spotlight (step by step methods to overcome, tackle issues identified in that area). - Refer to tools if any involved in your process/methodology. - Initiatives, case studies, examples of organisations illustrating your area should be at the end.

Style recommendations

Style Use British English.

A simple, clear and accessible style should be used at all times. Writing should be straightforward and avoid overcomplicated words or sentence structures. Speak to people directly where possible. So, for example, Think creatively, not Creative thinking; Manage your contacts, not Managing your contacts. Keep a friendly tone; avoid over-formality. Use the active rather than the passive voice where possible. This tends to naturally give your writing more life. Be aware of the cultural specificity of your examples, stories etc. Avoid misused apostrophes, overuse of commas, long sentences.


Avoid slang, Americanisms (eg Get heard!) and jargon. Also avoid awkward neologisms like attendees (rather use participants) . Be aware of any hidden biases or attitudes embedded in the words you use. In areas that can be sensitive (eg gender and sexuality) check if you're not sure what the appropriate terminology is. ***In this case our manual will go through three revisions in parallel that will help to mitigate any specific cultural biases (one security expert reviewer + 6 members of the Gender and technology Institute for the multicultural aspects + members of tactical tech)

Use common words over obscure ones, and avoid idiom (this includes any expression where words are used in a way that deviates from their more obvious meaning). So, use call me rather than drop me a line; help him rather than give him a hand, etc.

internet is never capitalised unless at the beginning of a sentence. Use internet or web; avoid net

website and webpage, not web site or web page (never capitalise unless at the beginning of a sentence)

Use activists and/or rights advocates and human rights advocates to talk about the people Tactical Tech support and marginalised communities to talk about the ultimate beneficiaries of this work (never people living in poverty, etc).

Use gender-neutral language that eliminates (or neutralises) reference to gender in terms that describe people.

Numbers Write out numbers from one to ten; after that, use the number.

Quotation marks Use single quotation marks when mentioning the titles of books, films, magazines etc. For example, ‘Anti-surveillance journal 2014’. Use double quotation marks for direct quotes.

Lists and bullets When listing names of people or organisations, put them in alphabetical order unless there is a clear reason why you would not do this.

Include full stops where bullet points include a full sentence. Most importantly, be consistent. In any set of bullet points, either use full stops or do not use them.

If you are using more than ten bullet points together, try and break them up by organising them into groups/categories. Try to put more significant points first.

Images Make sure the images you use are not copyrighted (unless we have gained the rights to use them), and always credit them (linking to the source where possible).