Facebook Devises New Tools To Protect Indian Women Profiles Online

As much Facebook lovers love the experience being connected to their family and friends all the time, they dread the anti-social elements who only know to misuse the information and content we post online. The increasing cases of misusing women’s profile pictures has stirred facebook to action to take stern measures to check it.

Facebook has announced it is piloting new tools that will give women facebook users more control over who can download and share their profile pictures that include their faces.

In our research with people and safety organisations in India, we have heard that some women choose not to share profile pictures that include their faces anywhere on the internet because they are concerned about what may happen to their photos,” said Aarati Soman, Product Manager at Facebook, in a post on Wednesday.

The experiences and learning from Indian pilot study will then be replicated to other countries soon.

Also, facebook is exploring more ways in which people can more easily add designs to profile pictures, which according to Facebook research is helpful in deterring misuse. 

These tools are developed in partnership with Indian safety organisations like Centre for Social Research, Learning Links Foundation, Breakthrough and Youth Ki Awaaz. Facebook also partnered with Jessica Singh, an illustrator who took inspiration from traditional Indian textile designs such as bandhni and kantha, to create designs for people to add to their profile picture.

The tools are designed to give people more control over their experience and help keep them safe online.

Tools involved in the pilot study include:

  • Facebook users in India will start seeing a step-by-step guide to add an optional profile picture guard.
  • Other people will no longer be able to download, share or send your profile picture in a message on Facebook. People you are not friends with on Facebook won’t be able to tag anyone, including themselves, in your profile picture.
  • Facebook would prevent others from taking a screenshot of a profile picture on Facebook — the feature currently available only on Android devices. 
  • The company will also display a blue border and shield around profile picture as a visual cue of protection deterring misuse.

“Based on preliminary tests, we’ve learned that when someone adds an extra design layer to their profile picture, other people are at least 75 per cent less likely to copy that picture,” Soman said.

If someone suspects that a picture marked with one of these designs is being misused, they can report it to Facebook and we will use the design to help determine whether it should be removed from our community.


Source: Economic Times