21 July 2014

Africa: Take Back the Tech! Let's End Violence Against Women

press release

The widespread, unchecked harassment of women on social media platforms violates the free expression rights of half the world's population. Join IFEX in asking Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to show us their policies, and help us demand the protection of women's free expression rights online.

As part of the global Take Back the Tech! campaign running from 21-25 July, we are asking major social media companies to account for what they are doing about the violence against women (VAW) that takes place via their platforms.

We need to ask Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to prove their commitment to protecting women's rights to express themselves freely and safely online! Send the suggested tweet and ask these companies what they are doing about violence against women.

In this digital age where information, images and opinions can be shared with anonymity, harassment can gain rapid momentum - particularly against women. In fact, women human rights defenders have reported that harassment is the most common threat they face online.

Women are consistently targets of discrimination, intimidation, violence and censorship on popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and it is unclear how these companies address this critical concern.

Everyone should be free to exercise their right to freedom of expression without fear and should be able to access, generate and share ideas and information in any way they choose. When online violations targeted against women can occur with impunity, the result is that women's right to safely use the Internet is compromised, their voices are silenced, and their contribution to a vibrant community space online is lost.

If you have 5 more minutes ...

There are many other interactive ways to Take Back the Tech!

Inform yourself about this critical issue: explore and add to the interactive global map featuring women's reports of online violence, find feminist perspectives on internet policy on the GenderIT site, and watch this archive of digital storytelling.

Do you think Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are doing enough on violence against women? Rate these platforms by filling out the campaign's digital report card.

Join the discussion on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtags #whatareyoudoingaboutVAW and #takebackthetech.

Thank you for taking action.

Please share this action with your friends and networks to help ensure our voices are heard.

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