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(Photo : Pixabay/geralt ) social media abuse

Facebook, Google, Twitter, and TikTok have committed to overhauling their moderations systems to investigate the reported abuse of women on their respective platforms.

The four social media platforms have signed up to the World Wide Web Foundation pledge or WWWF to fix how they tackle online violence against women. 

Facebook, Google, Twitter, and TikTok to Tackles Online Abuse

The announcement from the social media platforms comes in the middle of a forum for gender equality hosted by UN Women in Paris, according to CNET.

The UN Women in Paris forum is supported by an open letter signed by former heads of state and global leaders such as Graca Machel and Michelle Bachelet.

A couple of Hollywood celebrities also supported the open letter, including Ashley Judd, Annie Lennox, Maisie Williams, and Gemma Chan.

All of them urged the social media companies to implement the commitments fully. 

Also Read: Twitter Ramps Up Anti-Abuse Measures By Restricting Trolls: How Time-Out On Twitter Works

According to a 2021 study from the Economist Intelligence Unit, more than a third of women around the world have experienced abuse online, and it increased to almost half for younger women.

The four social media companies have pledged to tackle that abuse by focusing on two major areas of concern across their platforms.

The first area is the women's inability to control who can reply, comment on, and engage with their pots. The second area is the lack of reliable reporting systems flagging online abuse.

To improve the women's ability to control the engagements on their posts, the social media companies have committed to offering more granular settings so they can curate their own safety by allowing them to block people from replying to their posts without blocking them entirely or letting them limit the sharing of their posts.

The companies have also committed to using more simple and accessible systems throughout the user experience to improve access to safety tools and reduce reported abuse against women.

As for reporting, social media companies have committed to offering users the ability to track and manage their reports as soon as they have been made and flag context and language that may change how a particular post is interpreted.

The companies are also committed to giving more guidance for users who want to report abuse to help ensure that the problems are not rejected just for failing to tick the right boxes on social networks' internal systems, according to DailyMail.

WWWF's Fight for Women

Azmina Dhrodia, the WWWF's senior policy, stated that women had been routinely harassed, attacked, and subsequently silenced in online platforms. Dhrodia pointed out that this is a massive threat to progress on gender equality.

Meanwhile, Dawn Butler MP, who participated in the WWWF's investigation into online abuse, added that she is also subjected to more abuse online as she is a Black female politician compared to her white female counterparts.

Butler said that she refuses to allow people to silence her, but the level of the abuse has forced her to close her office as she could no longer guarantee the safety of her team. Butler recalled that the abuse got so bad that a member of my staff bought themselves a stab vest as a precaution.

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Written by Sophie Webster

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