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Tech Companies

OGBV is predominantly happening on the biggest social media platforms and messaging apps. Many of their responses and proposed tools put the responsibility on women and LGBTQI+ communities and individuals to protect themselves, instead of addressing underlying structural problems.

Gaps and challenges

The underlying business model of social media platforms, which is based on engagement numbers, can disincentivize tech companies to prevent OGBV proactively. Although some women self-exclude themselves from platforms to protect themselves (for example, some women in India are shunning Facebook due to worries about their safety and privacy), the business and economic impact of women leaving social media platforms due to experiencing OGBV has not been severe enough for companies to take action.

Responsibly responding to and addressing OGBV requires significant investment which many tech companies are not prioritizing. This could include investing in hiring human moderators with nuanced understanding of the cultural and linguistic contexts in which OGBV takes place, and investing in AI moderation and funding for survivors’ support.

What is needed

Tech companies need to invest in capabilities to stop the algorithmic amplification and viral spread of abusive content, and to put users’ safety at the center of their business models and design.

We also need to support the emergence of alternative social media platforms, as well as other tech environments such as gaming apps and transport apps, which put users’ and women’s safety at the heart of their ethos. Examples of pioneering tech companies and their focus on OGBV are listed in the table below. 

Emerging companies whose work primarily focuses on safety in tech – aiming to address privacy issues, disinformation, content moderation, video/image analysis - can also contribute to reducing online harm.

Inventory of innovative tech companies

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