Facebook is Introducing This Brilliant New Feature to Protect Women in India

Well, at least it's a start.




In today's day and age, every social media platform is taking that extra step forward, to give the best user-experience to all of us. New platforms are developed every day, and old ones are in constant battle to win over the Instagram/Facebook-obsessed generation.

To be fair, we can't imagine a day not scrolling through our Facebook feeds, or overusing hashtags. Along with all the perks and fame of social media, comes the scary thought of privacy and safety. You are in fact putting your life out there for the world to see, people even know where you are, and what you're doing – isn't that the least bit scary?

For women in India, specifically, it's even scarier, as the number of rape cases are disturbingly high. So Facebook, took it upon themselves to do their bit and protect us from all those creepy stalkers. You know exactly who we mean, the kind of guys who send you messages like, 'hi bby, u look so beautiful in ur dp'.

But it's not just the messages that's bothering, it's the fact that these guys can see your picture, maybe even save it and misuse it.

So, Facebook decided to create two new tools, that would protect your profile picture from being downloaded in the first place. They did some research into the Indian market, and found that women users are uncomfortable uploading a profile picture of themselves, fearing that it might be distributed and misused online, which is what gave birth to these genius new features.

1. A profile picture guard

When you choose to turn on your profile picture guard, it applies a blue border around the profile, with a small blue shield beneath it. It's actually a virtual 'guard'! It prevents people from downloading, sharing or sending the image on Facebook – and also disables users from tagging themselves in your picture.

2. A design overlay

Obviously, the first feature still has some concerning issues – people can still take a photo of your profile picture from another phone, or another camera. But Facebook is ahead of you...

It's releasing unique design overlays for your profile photos, inspired by traditional art designs from around India – you can place these on top of your picture, kinda like a screen.

Still wondering how that would help? People could still take a picture of your photo, just with some design on it. Actually, they wouldn't. Facebook research found that adding an extra design layer on a picture, users were 75 percent less likely to copy the photo, or redistribute it. It's just how the human psyche works.

Feel any better, ladies? It may be hard to predict how effective the new features will actually be. But Aarati Somon, a product manager at Facebook, told Refinery29, "You get to see that moment of 'Ah, okay. This gives me a lot of relief, this gives me a lot more comfort."

She gave an example of a 21-year-old woman she met in Lucknow, who had been using a profile picture of a puppy, and said,"This makes it really hard for her friends to find her on Facebook and as a result she isn't able to form the types of meaningful communities that she really desires [there]."

So worry not girls, hopefully using Facebook might be a much better experience for you now. Let us know what you think of these new features.