How do we remedy epistemic violence?
Once we understand the nature and impact of epistemic violence against marginalized groups, we need remedial measures that are humane and bear a long-term vision of justice. These are recommendations that provide a basic framework to resolve this crisis:
- Online spaces need to acknowledge, understand and accept their role in the phenomena of "othering" and silencing marginalized communities. This usually happens via the process of knowledge production and a body of knowledge that stigmatizes and dehumanizes people who are at the bottom of the social hierarchy.
- Once the online community is aware of epistemic violence in digital spaces, the key is to integrate marginalized voices as much as possible so that nobody is left behind in the digital universe.
- Create safe spaces for the members of marginalized sections, wherein their historical, political, social, economic and cultural narratives are not dismissed, distorted or misrepresented.
- Identify the specific discourses of silencing and othering marginalized communities, and make concentrated efforts of curbing and reversing those trends.
- Many times, the attempts for including conventional voices for the sake of objectivity masks the ongoing violence and perpetuates it further. Therefore, the key should be to include the voices that are truly representative of the marginalized sections.
- Make efforts for the inclusion of people with lived experiences, who can contribute diverse perspectives to the online discourses.
- Members of marginalized communities must not be viewed as mere subjects of knowledge consumption in online spaces but also as the producers and owners of knowledge.
- There is an urgent need to incorporate the remedies for epistemic violence against marginalized communities in the community standards of various online platforms. It must be understood and recognized that stigmatized representations of marginalized communities are as unacceptable as online abuse and harassment.
- Women and gender-diverse people from the marginalized sections of the society experience greater epistemic violence, because attempts for the assertion of power rely on the display of masculinity and patriarchy. Create safe spaces for them to ensure their representation.
- As with all the social groups, the marginalized communities are also mostly divided on basis of class, gender and religion. A singular narrative or voice cannot claim to be truly representative of the entire community. Make efforts to bring to the table different narratives within the community in order to make the online spaces inclusive for all.