The Tech Policy Design Lab pilot focused on creating solutions to counter violence against women online. This work led to a group of the world’s biggest tech platforms making specific commitments to take action and improve women’s safety on their platforms.
Between March 2020 and February 2021, we convened four multi-stakeholder consultations. These consultations brought together some of the world’s largest tech platforms, civil society organizations, government representatives and academia to generate evidence, build relationships and engage in constructive dialogue around women’s experiences of online gender-based violence and abuse.
We then used the insights and evidence gathered during our consultations to develop a series of three policy design workshops throughout April 2021. Led by two service design firms, Feminist Internet and Craig Walker, the workshops applied design-thinking and co-creation to develop prototypes that center the experiences of women most impacted by online abuse.
Specifically, the workshops focused on the experiences of highly visible women online (e.g. politicians, journalists, activists) from around the world, and provided an opportunity for participants to innovate around content curation and reporting flows.
This theme is about how to give women more choice over what they see online, when they see it and how they see it, as well as greater control over who can comment or reply to their posts.
Build better ways for women to curate their safety online
This could be achieved by
- Offering more granular settings (e.g. who can see, share, comment or reply to posts)
- Using simpler and more accessible language throughout the user experience
- Providing easy navigation and access to safety tools
- Reducing the burden on women by proactively reducing the amount of abuse they see
This theme explores how reporting processes can be improved so women can better manage and track their reports, and so that companies can respond to reports of abuse more effectively.
Implement improvements to reporting systems
This could be achieved by:
- Offering users the ability to track and manage their reports
- Enabling greater capacity to address context and/or language
- Providing more policy and product guidance when reporting abuse
- Establishing additional ways for women to access help and support during the reporting process
These prototypes were created by the workshop participants and support the design suggestions and recommendations.
The five personas we developed focus on highly visible women with intersecting identities. They were developed based on evidence from our consultations, the project team’s expertise and desk research.
Thanks to the organizations that participated in our consultations and workshops
“While we can’t quickly unwind the sexism that drives abuse, we can redesign our digital spaces and change the online environments that allow this misogyny to thrive.”