Islamabad (Muhammad Yasir) Meta has launched two new initiatives in Pakistan, focused on womens’ safety online that includes the Online Safety Guide and StopNCII (Non consensual intimate images) to help users to safely navigate cyberspace. The critical safety advisory available in English and Urdu is expected to boost digital literacy and responsible online behaviour amongst users, thereby creating safer online spaces for women to connect and express themselves without restraints.
The safety guide, now available at Meta’s Safety Centre, is part of the company’s efforts to equip and prepare users for the challenges of the modern digital world. Millions of people in Pakistan use Meta platforms to connect and pursue shared interests. However, it is always good to update oneself on issues around online harassment, unwanted messages and a range of fraudulent and criminal activities in the online space.
Meta has policies and systems in place to tackle online violence against women, aided by awareness programs to enable and empower them to defend themselves against unscrupulous elements online.
The safety guide features all the tools around safety available on Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp and explains how women can adopt them for safer internet use and protect themselves from criminal & fraudulent activities.
Keeping the focus on safety, StopNCII was developed with Meta’s expert guidance and funding in collaboration with global NGO partner, ‘the UK Revenge Porn Helpline’, to stop the sharing of non-consensual intimate images (NCII), often referred to as Revenge Porn. StopNCII.org has a global footprint and currently services people through regional partners that advocate for local victims. It uses the latest innovative technology to block compromising photos and videos proactively from spreading online.
Meta has localised StopNCII into an Urdu portal as well that can be used by users concerned for their online safety and privacy to initiate a case. Once the case is initiated, Meta can proactively block the spread of the compromising images and videos before they can spread online. The technology doesn’t require the images to leave the person’s device, instead only the hash or numerical code is shared with the platform. The portal also integrates information and vital voices of survivors, experts, advocates, and tech partners of Meta for women seeking help and guidance.
Meta’s partner organisation in Pakistan, Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) organised an online roundtable in connection with the launch of the StopNCII portal in Urdu. The participants of the roundtable included representatives from civil society organizations, regional experts from Meta, digital experts and rights activists.