Facebook gives Indians more control over their profile pictures

The social-media giant through their research discovered that users by adding designs to their profile pictures can deter misuse.

Facebook in an effort to pilot new tools that gives Indian users more control over who can download and share their profile pictures, are exploring different ways. The social-media giant through their research discovered that users by adding designs to their profile pictures can deter misuse of the same.

“Profile pictures are an important part of building community on Facebook because they help people find friends and create meaningful connections. But not everyone feels safe adding a profile picture,” Facebook wrote in a post. “In our research with people and safety organizations in India, we’ve heard that some women choose not to share profile pictures that include their faces anywhere on the internet because they’re concerned about what may happen to their photos,” the company added.

These tools, developed in partnership with Indian safety organizations like Centre for Social ResearchLearning Links Foundation, Breakthrough and Youth Ki Awaaz, are designed to give people more control over their experience and help keep them safe online.

People in India will start seeing a step-by-step guide to add an optional profile picture guard. When you add this guard:

1) Other people will no longer be able to download, share or send your profile picture in a message on Facebook

2) People you’re not friends with on Facebook won’t be able to tag anyone, including themselves, in your profile picture

3) Where possible, Facebook will prevent others from taking a screenshot of your profile picture, which is currently available only on Android devices

4) Facebook will display a blue border and shield around your profile picture as a visual cue of protection

Deterring Misuse

Based on preliminary tests, Facebook learned that when someone adds an extra design layer to their profile picture, other people are at least 75 per cent less likely to copy that picture. The company partnered with Jessica Singh, an illustrator who took inspiration from traditional Indian textile designs such as bandhani and kantha, to create designs for people to add to their profile picture.

If someone suspects that a picture marked with one of these designs is being misused, they can report it to Facebook and they will use the design to help determine whether it should be removed from our community.

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