dot com two frenzy: iphone activism

On Thursday I visited Civic Hall, an office suite on Fifth Avenue that provides work space and WiFi for social activists. A friend rents space there ($250 per month). Civic Hall is funded by Google, Microsoft, and the dicey neoliberal outfit Omidyar Networks (as in eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, a would-be William Randolph Hearst of cyberspace). A skeptic might say Civic Hall is a form of digital greenwashing. "Sure we turn user data over to the government but look at us, we support activists!"
My friend suggested sitting in on a lunch workshop for Pictition, a start-up with an app that posts your photo when you sign a petition. Their example is Stop Elephant Slaughter -- who could argue with that? When you sign the petition, your phone snaps your pic and adds it to a big grid of friendly, concerned faces, from all walks of life, etc.
Most of the workshop attendees appeared to be professionals in Search Engine Optimization, User Experience, "social" and the like. One actual activist-minded person questioned the advisability of posting photos for say, a petition regarding battered spouses, where an enraged "ex" could use the photo as a stalking tool.
A developer of the app said "I think we need to separate questions of security from user experience -- we're here today to talk about UsEx."
At that point I chimed in with "you can't separate the two -- post-Snowden-revelations, people are concerned about where their facial data ends up, and this app assures its spread to a variety of political causes."
At this point one of the SEO types said "that's how your demographic feels but other demographics feel differently, so let's move on."
As the lunch was breaking up I meandered over to the table where she was sitting and said I found her use of "demographic" offensive and resented being pigeonholed with this meaningless word. She said "well, you said millennials and I was just saying there were other demographics." I replied that "I did not use the word 'millennials'" -- which is true, she just made that up.
Was too polite to say, on the subject of spreading your pic around the internet, there's the cautious demographic and the gullible-to-apathetic demographic.