What Are You Doing About Violence Against Women?

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25 June 2014 (Take Back the Tech!)

That’s what we’re asking Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Join our campaign beginning 21 July to demand answers and action!

Women visit social media sites more often than men and spend more time on them. We send more tweets and share more posts. Women drive content, advertising and engagement, but by simply showing up on these platforms, we also face violence, with little support on the part of companies that profit from us.

In more than 4,000 cases of cyberstalking reported to Halt Online Abuse since 2000, 70% of victims were female. We’re all too familiar with the death and rape threats women receive on Twitter, Facebook pages devoted to violence against women and sexual and violent responses to the YouTube videos of women in fields dominated by men.

These sites have made some effort to respond to user concerns: Facebook has been working with women’s rights groups on hate speech, Twitter updated their rules on abusive behaviour and YouTube is trialling the Deputy Program, which relies on trusted flaggers to notify them of policy violations.

But they haven’t done enough, especially for women outside of the narrow scope of the US and Europe.
In some countries, women have to go to the market to fax abuse reports, and language and cultural barriers are pervasive. We don’t know who responds to reports and how they are trained, and we haven’t seen data on reporting demographics and success.

This is about us and our rights. Violence stifles freedom of expression, and we can work together to develop solutions that promote our rights to freedom of speech and freedom from violence.

So we’re targeting the big three. We want Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to:

Take a clear stand on violence against women in their terms of service
Engage with diverse civil society to find solutions for safer platforms

Take Back the Tech! wants you to join us in demanding these changes starting 21 July. You can participate in the following ways:

• Ask: “What are you doing about violence against women?” Use our questions and tweets to request more information from these companies under #WhatAreYouDoingAboutVAW.

• Rate: Use our report card format to rate social media on various aspects related to violence against women. We’ll compile all user report cards and share the results.

• Share: Have a story about your own experience? Let us know! Tweet, film, post and blog your stories. Add them anonymously to our map of tech-related violence against women.

• Demand: Tell these companies what you want. Share your solutions. We’ll follow up by sending them crowdsourced ideas they can put into practice.

Find more information and digital content in our campaign kit (available at https://www.takebackthetech.net/), use #WhatAreYouDoingAboutVAW and follow @takebackthetech for the continuing conversation. Let us know about your actions by writing to info@takebackthetech.net.

Promote transparency and safe spaces. Demand that social media take a stand. Take back the tech!

Download the flyer and spread the word out there! .

(END/2014)

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