Social Media giant Facebook on 21 June 2017 introduced some new tools in India that will allow users especially women to protect their profile pictures from being downloaded and shared. This move is targeted at preventing the misuse of images on the social networking site.
The new tools are developed by Facebook in partnership with safety organisations including Delhi's Centre for Social Research and Learning Links Foundation. These tools will gradually be expanded to other countries as well.
Photo Guard: By triggering the Photo Guard, one can prevent the downloading, sharing, or sending of the photo in a Facebook message.
No screen-shotting of profile picture: The latest version of the Facebook app on Android devices will also prohibit users from taking the screenshot of a guarded photo.
A visual cue of protection with blue border: Profile pictures with the added security will be displayed with a blue border and shield forming a visual cue so that people understand that the picture is protected. When this extra design layer is added to profile pictures, other users are 75 per cent less likely to copy that picture.
Design Overlay: There are several different design options that users can add to their profile picture to protect it. Facebook partnered with illustrator Jessica Singh, who created traditional designs for people from traditional Indian textile designs such as bandhani and kantha.
If someone suspects that a picture marked with one of these designs is being misused, they can report it to Facebook.
Profile pictures are an essential part of building community on Facebook. People find it easier to get connected with their friends through these profile pictures. However, not everyone feels safe to add their own picture on their profile page.
Facebook's research in the Indian market revealed that some users, especially women, are uncomfortable uploading a profile picture of themselves, fearing that it might get distributed more widely or could be misused online.
This research made way for the new Facebook tools that will give users more control over who can download and share their profile photos. These tools are designed to give people more control over their experience and help keep them safe online.
Who: Facebook India
When: 21 June 2017