Christof is the founder and CEO of Hornet, a queer social network with over 30 million users worldwide.
“New technologies play a huge role in the LGBTQ community, whether we like it or not.
On the negative side, 64% of LGBTQ adult Americans from online discrimination and harassment on the ‘Big Five’ have heteronormative social networks [Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok], according to GLAAD’s recently published Social Media Safety Index. That’s the highest number of positive responses among any minority population in the United States and is up from 40% in a similar study by Hornet and Kantar in 2018. We see day in and day out how technology expands all aspects of our lives, including all the negatives, from LGBTQ discrimination in the US to the actions of the 71 countries that still criminalize as LGBTQ today.
On the plus side, we can use the sheer size of technology to make it a powerful force for good. Hornet’s social network offers members of the LGBTQ community a safe space where authentic social connections can develop, even if people are locked up during COVID-19, live in a distant location away from the queer centers of this world or are for other reasons prevented from connecting easily with other queer people to find that inherent love and belonging that can be found in offline community meetings etc.
Hornet is already making extensive use of AI to detect suspicious patterns, to identify catfish, spammers and attackers, and we are constantly striving to check ‘proof-of-work’ concepts such as the ‘Hornet Badge’ identities. We cannot rely on government-issued IDs as they could become a hazard if that information gets into the wrong hands (including through hacking, government court orders, or corporate negligence or greed that does not harm the welfare of companies .) our community in front of and at the center of their business.)
In the long term, I believe that blockchain, a decentralized technology, is a perfect fit for a decentralized community like ours. And just like a nation state has IDs, a currency and a budget, the blockchain gives us the tools to provide identity (pseudonymity), value storage and transfer, and some form of funding or taxation to provide resources for projects of common interest. To this end, we launched the LGBT Foundation and look forward to working with interested members of the crypto and LGBTQ community to develop the underlying infrastructure. ”