Facebook Testing New Feature To Protect Indian Women

Updated on

Privacy is a major concern for Facebook users, especially for women in India, who have been facing trouble using the most popular social network. Taking their concern seriously, the U.S. firm has devised some tools to protect Indian women and make them feel safer on the platform.

Why do Indian women need such tools?

In research focused on Indian women’s use of the platform, the social networking giant found that while women love to share pictures on it, some chose “not to share profile pictures that include their faces anywhere on the internet because they’re concerned about what may happen to their photos.”

It is very easy for cyber-criminals to download and misuse photographs of women. Therefore, they get very apprehensive when uploading and sharing their pictures, claimed Facebook Product Manager Aarati Soman. Fearing misuse, girls are often forced to put a dummy picture as their profile picture so that finding them on the site is difficult for cyber-criminals, stalkers or obsessive one-sided lovers.

Another big issue for Indian women is impersonation; cyber-bullies use someone else’s picture to create a fake profile using the victim’s name. This is a serious concern for the victim, who might land in trouble, as they have no clue that their picture is being misused.

The option for hiding or sharing photos with a specific audience already exists, but there is no such thing for profile pictures, which is public by default, meaning that anyone on Facebook, until blocked, can view it. For this reason, new tools have been introduced for Indian women, offering them a feeling of safety, as they will have complete control over who can view, like, comment upon, share and/or download their images.

How the Facebook tool works?

Facebook has launched a new pilot program in India to introduce new safety measures for women. A new feature called Photo Guard ensures that other users are not able to download and share someone’s profile picture. At the same time, they will also not be able to tag other people in someone else’s profile picture.

The only way someone can get their hands on someone’s profile picture is to take a screenshot, and the company has a solution to prevent that too, although initially, it will function on the Android app only. Facebook’s guard feature can be activated or deactivated depending on the user’s requirements. Once active, the feature will put a shield and a blue border around the user’s profile picture.

Facebook has partnered with an Indian illustrator to ensure not only that the safety controls become more compelling, but they have several attractive options to choose from, notes TechCrunch. Facebook’s latest tool will surely be a huge success, as it has been found that nearly 75% of impersonators are less likely to copy an image when the guard option is enabled.

Facebook may roll out the new safety tools to Indian users by June 27, and it hopes to expand it to other countries “soon.”

Leave a Comment