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Meta announces new safety initiatives to protect women in India

Meta has announced three initiatives to help protect women in India. These include a new platform to check and limit the sharing of non-consensual intimate images (NCII).

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: December 3, 2021 2:19:25 pm
Meta, Meta Safety for women, Meta women's safety, Meta Women Safety features, Facebook women's safetyMeta has announced some new initiatives for women's safety and security in India. (Image credit: Reuters)

Meta has announced three initiatives to help protect women in India. These include a new platform to check and limit the sharing of non-consensual intimate images (NCII), expanding the women’s safety hub to Hindi and 11 other Indian languages. Meta has also appointed Indian members to its Global Women’s Safety Expert Advisors.

The first initiative called StopNCII.org is in partnership with UK Revenge Porn Helpline and will build on the company’s NCII Pilot, which was an emergency program that allowed potential victims to proactively hash their intimate images. In India, the platform has partnered with organisations such as Social Media Matters, Centre for Social Research, and Red Dot Foundation.

The platform will let women, who are victims, submit their case to the platform and ensure that it works with participating companies such as Facebook, Linkedin, Bumble, Discord, and others to ensure that such images get removed. Women can create their cases on the platform and keep a track of the status as well.

The tool works by generating a hash from someone’s intimate image(s)/video(s), where a unique hash value is added to an image. Duplicate copies of the image all have the exact same hash value. StopNCII.org then shares the hash with participating companies so they can help detect and remove the images from being shared online.

The Women’s Safety Hub includes specific resources for women leaders, journalists, and survivors of abuse. Additionally, it also contains video-on-demand safety training and allows visitors to register for live safety training. It will now be available in Hindi, Marathi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Bengali, Odia, Assamese, Kannada, and Malayalam.

Meta has also appointed Bishakha Datta, who is Executive Editor at Point of View, and Jyoti Vadehra, Head of Media & Communications at the Centre for Social Research as the first Indian members to its Global Women’s Safety Expert Advisors.

The group comprises 12 other non-profit leaders, activists, and academic experts from different parts of the world and consults Meta in the development of new policies, products, and programs to better support women on its apps.

Meta also commissioned a paper by Sattva Consulting titled, ‘Connect, Collaborate and Create: Women and Social Media During the Pandemic’, which was released to mark the occasion. The paper sheds light on measures to address the sharp gender imbalance in social media usage in India.

“At Meta, building a safe online experience has been a priority and our commitment and efforts to keep women safe are industry-leading. We are confident that with our ever-growing safety measures, women will be able to enjoy a social experience which will enable them to learn, engage and grow without any challenges,” Karuna Nain, Director, Global Safety Policy at Meta Platforms Inc, said in a press statement.

The paper, meanwhile, highlights that only 33 per cent of women in India use social media, against 67 per cent men. The paper suggests ways to bridge the gender divide that is exacerbated by issues such as limited internet connectivity in rural areas, lack of device ownership, and poor digital literacy

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