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Facebook to Introduce New Tools to Protect Profile Pictures of Indian Women

These tools have been developed in partnership with multiple companies and Indian Safety Organizations that include Centre for Social Research, Breakthrough, Learning Links Foundation, and Youth Ki Awaaz

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Privacy in Facebook
Facebook user interface. Pixabay
  • It will be in the control of the women as to who can download and share their profile pictures that include their faces
  • Depending on the experience in India, Facebook has plans to introduce this feature to other countries as well
  • According to reports- as per plans, wherever possible, Facebook would also prevent users from taking a screenshot of someone’s profile picture

June 25, 2016: Facebook has recently announced that it is going to introduce new tools and techniques to help the Indian women possess more control over the privacy regarding their profile photos, IANS reported. It will be in the control of the women as to who can download and share their photos that include their faces. This announcement brings the initiative of empowerment of the Indian women, one step further.

Aarati Soman, Product Manager at Facebook, stated in a post on Wednesday, “In our research with people and safety organization in India, we have heard 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,” India TV News reports.

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Depending on the experience in India, Facebook has plans to introduce this feature to other countries as well. Research has shown that adding designs to profile pictures prevents misuse. According to the reports, the social media giant is also gearing up to help people with that feature.

These tools are developed to provide people with more safety online and help them exercise more control on the privacy issues. These tools have been developed in partnership with multiple companies and Indian Safety Organizations that include Centre for Social Research, Breakthrough, Learning Links Foundation, and Youth Ki Awaaz.

Since now, Indian users would notice a guide to include an optional profile picture guard while setting a profile picture.

Soman said further, “Other people will no longer be able to download, share or send your profile picture in a message on Facebook. People you are not friends with on Facebook won’t be able to tag anyone, including themselves, in your profile picture,” India TV News reported.

As per plans, wherever possible, Facebook would also prevent users from taking a screenshot of someone’s profile picture. Presently, this feature is available in androids only. Displaying a blue border and a shield around one’s profile picture as a cue to preventing misuse, is going to be introduced soon.

The company also partnered with an illustrator Jessica Singh, who got inspired from traditional Indian designs of textile including ‘Kantha’ and ‘Bandhni’ and created designs for users to include in their profile pictures.

Soman Says, “Based on preliminary tests, we’ve learned that when someone adds an extra design layer to their profile picture, other people are at least 75 per cent less likely to copy that picture” Soman said. She also added that one can report to Facebook if someone suspects that the profile picture with safeguard designs, is being misused in any way; and then that design can be used to determine whether that should be eliminated from the community.

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC

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Fake News Continues to Flourish on Social Media Platforms After Polls

The flow of fake news after the election results suggests that the tide of misinformation on social media is unlikely to stop any time soon

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India Polls, Fake News, Millions
Reaching out to the old people, who are newly getting introduced to smartphones and social media is a challenge. Pixabay

Posts containing fake news continued to flourish on social media platforms after the end of the Lok Sabha elections that saw the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) returning to power with a massive win.

Celebrations followed the results that pave the way for Modi to become the Prime Minister of the country for the second consecutive term. Some distributed ladoos to celebrate the victory. A few others spread fake news.

A post claiming that “Welcome Modi Ji” has been written on all the city buses of London soon started doing the rounds on social media platforms.

The claims were found to be fake by fact-checking platform BOOM. The images used for the posts originated in 2015, when a bus named “Modi Express” was launched by the Indians living in the UK, the fact checkers found.

Some even circulated a video on Facebook that claimed that a Gujrati man got so elated with Modi’s re-election that he showered cash on people in Milton, Canada. The caption that accompanied the video claimed that the man made a lot of profit after the share market responded positively to Modi’s re-election.

BOOM traced the viral video to the Instagram account of a Detroit, US based man. It found that the video, originally shot in New York, was uploaded much before the election results in India were declared and it had nothing to do with the celebration of BJP’s victory.

On May 23, the day the results of the Lok Sabha polls were declared, a video that showed Modi with his mother went viral on Facebook. While social media users claimed that the video was shot after BJP’s landslide victory in the elections, fact checking website Alt News traced the video to 2014.

India Polls, Fake News, Millions
These forwards, many of which contained fake news, surged during the election time. Pixabay

BOOM also found that following the victory of the BJP, a quote that was falsely attributed to Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan in the past resurfaced on WhatsApp.

“I would leave India if Modi becomes the PM of this country,” the actor was falsely quoted as saying in the post that demanded that the actor should now “apologise or leave the country as PM Modi is back”.

BOOM traced the quote to a fake tweet and fake news report that celebrated the 2018 April Fool’s Day with the false information.

These posts, however, are only the tip of the iceberg. Many more fake posts are doing the rounds on social media with some even falsely claiming that six lakh votes polled in favour of Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Kerala’s Wayanad mysteriously disappeared from the records.

Also Read- Easing Fears in Wake of Data Breach Should be Priority, Says Researcher

According to BOOM Founder Govindraj Ethiraj, the spread of fake news reached an “all-time high” in the run up to the 2019 general election.

The flow of fake news after the election results suggests that the tide of misinformation on social media is unlikely to stop any time soon.

“The biggest challenge to fighting fake new is that over 300 million of the 550 million smartphone and broadband users in the country are low on literacy and digital literacy and are especially gullible,” leading tech policy and media consultant Prasanto K. Roy earlier told IANS. (IANS)