Aust academic helps mould FB safety policy

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(Australian Associated Press)

 

An Australian academic who analyses online harassment, “revenge porn” and “deep fake” videos is joining a Facebook global advisory body to instruct the social media giant on women’s safety.

Monash University associate professor Asher Flynn will join the 12-person advisory committee that aims to boost women’s online safety.

Dr Flynn and her colleagues will assess the platform’s current settings and tools and recommend new options to “empower women online”, Facebook said in a statement on Tuesday.

The social media giant said it had already introduced several tools to boost women’s online safety including the ability to filter messages with offensive words and switch off Instagram direct messages.

Public figures and brands can also control who is permitted to comment on their Facebook posts or filter out certain words.

“Women come to Facebook to run thriving businesses, support each other through groups and make donations to causes they are passionate about,” Facebook regional policy director Mia Garlick said.

“However, like society, it can also be a place where women experience a disproportionate level of harassment and abuse.”

Earlier this month, hundreds of prominent women around the world published an open letter urging tech giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Google to tackle online abuse of women.

The open letter was signed by leaders including Mozambican politician and women’s rights advocate Graca Machel, former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet and several prominent UK MPs.

Some 38 per cent of women globally have directly experienced abuse online, rising to 45 per cent among younger women.

With PA

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