Tuesday, Facebook announced various initiatives in the South Asia Safety Summit to accelerate digital literacy efforts in India with a vision to make social networking secure and safe for women and children. Among the initiatives are a content partnership with the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) to build an Ideal Internet Consortium to propose recommendations for online child safety, and the launch of We Think Digital in India; the global digital literacy program of Facebook.
The South Asia Safety Summit is the annual event of Facebook to host important conversations on digital safety and security. The summit was joined by more than 100 organizations from Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh to Afghanistan.
Smriti Zubin Irani, the Minister for Women and Child Development highlights the partnership and said that "While the internet opens doors for women and children to learn and gain knowledge, it also comes with the responsibility to assure their safety, and allow them to express their views without any apprehension. Our constant effort has been to progress the cause of equal opportunity for women and ensures a safe environment for children. Together with Facebook, we will work to create ways, in which we equip and educate people to support them make smarter choices online and learn about internet safety."
Here is the list of major announcements made at the event:
Partnership with the Ministry of Women Child Development: This partnership will pursue opportunities to bring digital literacy to protect more women and children by making spreading awareness about the privacy, safety, and security in the digital world.
#CreateCareConnect Comic: This series is focused on educating young users about online safety in an easy, enjoy full and engaging way.
Thumbstoppers: Facebook will launch the Thumbstoppers campaign in 2020; it will be a series of short creative mobile videos under 10 seconds from the advertising community of India. The purpose of this campaign is to empower and educate people on an issue like gender equality, domestic violence and education for the girl child.
Ideal Internet Consortium: Facebook announced to form a unique working group of child safety practitioners named Ideal Internet Consortium. The group will use real filed experience and research to deliberate over safety issues and present suggestions for government, industry and civil society. So far, the consortium has had a total of seven focus group discussions with young people from different cities including Kerala, Jharkhand, Odisha, and Tripura.
We Think Digital: It is a global digital literacy program of Facebook. For this, the company will partner with agencies from both government and civil society. This program will work to make use of learning modules designed to equip people with skills, including the ability to think critically about what they see online, how to communicate with respect and engage in digital discourse.
Ankhi Das, the Director of Public Policy, Facebook India emphasized the need for addressing problems of digital literacy and social media and said "We are building programs that are focused at Internet users' digital hygiene and monitoring online privacy and security.
These are the initiatives Facebook is making to bring digital literacy in India. Besides, it has also been introducing transformations in the product like Instagram's global test of making like counts private and new safety features such as Restrict, which protects your account from unwanted interactions.