Facebook Announces New Tools to Safeguard Women in India

Facebook has announced new tools to protect women in India and will give them more control over who can download and share their profile pictures. Facebook’s research with people and safety organizations in India, revealed 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.

The new tools, developed in partnership with Indian safety organizations like Centre for Social Research, Learning Links Foundation, Breakthrough and Youth Ki Awaaz, are designed to give people more control over their experience and help keep them safe online.

People in India will now start seeing a step-by-step guide to add an optional profile picture guard. When you add this guard — other people will no longer be able to download, share or send your profile picture in a message on Facebook

Also, people you are not friends with on Facebook won’t be able to tag anyone, including themselves, in your profile picture. The company will also prevent others from taking a screenshot of your profile picture on Facebook where possible, which is currently available only on Android devices

With the new tools, Facebook will display a blue border and shield around your profile picture as a visual cue of protection. The research also revealed that when someone adds an extra design layer to their profile picture, other people are at least 75% less likely to copy that picture.

The company has partnered with Jessica Singh, an illustrator who took inspiration from traditional Indian textile designs such as “bandhani” and “kantha,” to create designs for people to add to their profile picture.

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.

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