This week, Facebook and several other tech giants pledged at the UN Generation Equality Forum in Paris to stop the harassment and abuse of women online. The improvements Facebook will make come after a year of consulting with the Web Foundation and over 120 women experts from around the world.
Facebook has committed to improving in two areas: giving women more control over who can interact with their posts, and giving them the ability to proactively reduce the amount of abuse they see. The tech companies also agreed to give women more visibility into how posts they have reported are being processed, and more straightforward access to safety tools. Throughout the implementation of these features, the Web Foundation has promised to remain vigilant and keep Facebook accountable.
“[Online abuse] leads to women silencing or censoring their voices on these platforms, it can lead to psychological harm after experiencing a tirade of abuse and violent threats and it also has economic consequences for women who are reliant on these platforms for their livelihoods,” Web Foundation senior policy analyst Azmina Dhrodia told CNET in an interview.
Anyone who has ever used social media knows what a toxic problem this has become, so it’s a good thing Facebook is stepping up to the plate to fight it. However, it shouldn’t have taken this much international pressure to force the company to do the right thing.
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