Nah, my pronouns and gender are a key part of my personhood and I intend to assert them wherever I can. I’m not going back in the closet for any privacy concerns.

Data collection is a problem but the solution isn’t for us all to hide who we are, it’s to smash the political environment that makes that abuse possible.

I think there’s a good point to be made about having a pronoun field default to they, so that those who use other pronouns must do so by choice, better obscuring whether someone is trans and normalizing the use of gender-neutral pronouns.

If that’s what was meant then yeah I wouldn’t mind that, but I read this as more a suggestion that we shouldn’t refer to the genders of others because doing so would leak information. I use “they” for others by default but this reads as telling me that I shouldn’t tell others I use “she” and that others shouldn’t use “she” for me to maintain the utmost of anonymity.

yea just expanding upon the thought 😄

Hexbear devs are currently looking at the possibility of adding a pronoun tag in vanilla Lemmy. The suggestion to default to they/them is a solid one imo

You are telling me to do this? Me?

I am the same person who the other day created a wiki about a really niche matter, and will also need to make a page about myself because the main subject the wiki exists solely because of me… 😆

Seriously btw, usually frequenting social spaces (online or offline, doesn’t matter) you leak stuff that’s way more important than the gramatical gender you use or want other to use to refer to you. You leak what are your interests, as well as other unerasable personality traits. I even wrote a blog article about this.

Honestly, I don’t think it really matters so much. People who use she/her or he/him pronouns would only leak slightly more than a bit of entropy doing so, while people who go by other pronouns online might still not lose too much privacy. At most, a user’s pronouns may strongly suggest that they are nonbinary, but attackers may still have problems using this information, since for example some people may identify as a binary gender but still go by gender-neutral pronouns online, or some nonbinary people may not be “legally” nonbinary and thus might not have written records associating their real-life identity with their gender.

In general, (I assume) people normally leak way more information online, and I guess people who care about privacy should just make up inconsequential information about themselves.


I’ve been thinking that with the emoji skin color palettes (👍🏿👍🏾👍🏽👍🏼👍🏻👍). The nazis would’ve loved this. Just sack anyone who’s on record using non-white emojis.

These are certainly a tradeoff. You reveal some amount of information to achieve representation. Because well, if you don’t show this stuff, people will just assume that you belong to the majority. And if they rarely encounter certain minorities, chances are much higher that they become *-phobic towards those.

I’ve been considering just throwing in random bits of entropy to confuse trackers and aid representation of minorities. So, in one post I might be 💁🏾‍♀️, in the next I’d change to 🤷🏼‍♂️ etc…

Very cool observation


Honestly I’m surprised how controversal this matter is discussed here. I think it’s a reasonable suggestion. As long as the gender of a preson doesn’t matter—which on the internet is the case most of the time (imo)—a gender-neutral pronoun is appropriate. If you care about your gender, nothing stops you to present yourself accordingly. Of course this should be respected as well.

I think the only reason it’s controversial is that the wording of the OP is very confusing. I certainly use “they” to refer to others by default but it’s not for privacy reasons…it’s because I don’t automatically know the pronouns of strangers. I took this post as saying that we should use one pronoun for everyone to create the smallest amount of data to be collected.


Yes, I didn’t cover it in my comment, but I also think it’s good to reduce data footprints for everyone. If it’s not required, don’t publish it.


Back when the anti-Stallman letter broke out, some transgender people were calling him “transfobe” for having openly proposed the use of a gender-neutral pronoun that he came up with as the preferred way to speak when you don’t know the gender of the person.

It seems promoting the use of a gender-neutral pronoun can be counterproductive. Some people might actually find it offensive and condescending.


Some people will always find something offensive

Having read his page on that, his suggestion was to use another one instead of “they” for petty prescriptivist reasons. While to me it comes off as a silly Stallmanism that I don’t mind that much, it’s plenty understandable for people who use “they” and have come across thousands of arguments making the same linguistcally questionable points for transphobic reasons to be suspicious of that. Especially given his awful thoughts on other things.

Some people might actually find it offensive and condescending.

This is someone for everything. Propose a new build help out the lower class, some lower class will then tell you how their actually middle class and offended

I actually use they/them online as a cis person. I Got my sea legs on boards where everyone was “OP” and OP always used they/them pronouns. However, I do not agree with this:

personal pronouns should be limited as a matter of security on any social media site

Evangelize all you want about the practice of self-identifying using gender-neutral pronouns, but actually enforcing a rule like this would really suck for trans people. Calling a trans person “a they/them” os a common way to misgendered them on purpose.

All in all, I think this whole conversation is a good example of how pronouns !== gender. Cis people have plenty of reasons to use gender-neutral pronouns and non-binary trans people often use binary pronouns. Grammatical gender can be wild lol

but actually enforcing a rule like this would really suck for trans people

didn’t mean to imply it should be enforced

Cis people have plenty of reasons to use gender-neutral pronouns and non-binary trans people often use binary pronouns

huhhhhhhh? 😵‍💫 Elaborate plz

didn’t mean to imply it should be enforced

Oh then yeah 100%

huhhhhhhh? 😵‍💫 Elaborate plz

Not sure if you were confused about one of those statements or both of them, so sorry if I’m explaining something you already understood.

I am a cis person and when I am online I list my pronouns as they/them for privacy reasons, like you’ve stated. It just makes me uncomfortable to be referred to as “she” or “he” online. If someone is anonymized in a documentary, they’ll refer to them as “they” even though they’re talking about a specific known person. I know a lot of people who casually refer to babies as “it”. Stuff like that.

On the trans side of things, it’s really whatever makes someone comfy. I have a non-binary friend who uses she/her pronouns. She leans more feminine than masculine most days, so she prefers she/her. Because non-binary isn’t a third, androgynous gender. It’s a whole category. And as much as cisheteronormative society wants us to be able to look at every single person we meet and immediately correctly guess their gender and pronouns, everyone from binary trans people mid-transition to non-binary people to even many androgynous cis men and women can tell you how often that doesn’t work out correctly. My hair length was unusual for my assigned gender for a long time and I got misgendered a lot. Mostly just annoying for me, but still.

Thanks fam!


deleted by creator


Nope, non-binary specifically means those gender identities that don’t fit into the traditional male vs. female scheme. So, it does not include ‘cisgender’ people, i.e. those who do identify as either male or female.

The term you’re looking for is simply “gender-neutral”. 🙃

edited, thanks!

A place to discuss privacy and freedom in the digital world.

Privacy has become a very important issue in modern society, with companies and governments constantly abusing their power, more and more people are waking up to the importance of digital privacy.

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