New Facebook Features Will Help Prevent Internet Violence Against Indian Women

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There are two new Facebook features available in India designed to keep the women there safe, and Walker’s Legacy is here for it! As young girls, all of us were warned of the dangers of online predators, and our parents usually monitored our online presence well into our late teens. In India, regardless of a woman’s age, safety remains an issue.

“A lot of what affects women offline affects women online,” says Aarati Soman, Facebook product manager. With a patriarchal way of thinking mostly to blame, many women in India shy away from posting any photos online at all for fear they will be misused. Internet abuse is common in India, and when women deny the advances of men online, they are often subject to having their photos stolen and misused in unflattering, sometimes pornographic ways.

As of today, Facebook has made connecting on social media platforms much safer for women in India. The first new feature is a photo guard which prevents unauthorized downloading, sharing or sending of photos. As an additional layer of security, protected photos are shown surrounded by a blue border, serving as a visual reminder for intruders to back off!

profile-pic-guardThe second feature, the more artistic of the two, is a design overlay in traditional Indian designs. These designs serve as sort of a watermark, and are a creative way to deter users from copying photos.

With the Facebook app, female users will also be protected from the dreaded screenshot share, as screenshots are BLOCKED on Android devices. With photo misuse being one of the number one concerns for Indian woman, each of these features marks a pivotal moment in the effort to protect and respect women online.

Both of these features will be available in over 30 local Indian languages, and these changes have already created a buzz! “Gender based violence and sexual harassment is a big problem in India,” says Anshul Tewari of New Dehli. Tewari is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Youth Ki Awaaz, the content publishing site who assisted Facebook with implementing these features. Now instead of flowers, pets and historic landmarks, women in India can post their beautiful faces and continue connecting with their family and friends. Team work definitely makes the dream work.

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