Some social technologies can reduce marginality by enabling access to individuals and resources through increased visibility and opportunities for social connection, but visibility carries risks that may be outsized for some marginalized populations. This article reports on a study of location-based social apps (LBSA) used by men who have sex with men (MSM) in Mumbai, India, a legally and socially marginalized population. LBSAs, which facilitate interaction and social connection between physically proximate individuals would seem at first to be a valuable resource in reducing marginality for MSM by connecting otherwise isolated individuals with each other. We explored this from a socio-technical perspective through a qualitative study of MSM in Mumbai, India, who use LBSAs. Results suggest that, as in other contexts, using LBSAs presented formidable risks and challenges such as information security and identification by others, but also could serve as a valuable resource for connecting MSM to each other.
- social media
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Computer Science Applications