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Jul 01

2021

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Open Letter to the CEOs of  Facebook, Google, TikTok and Twitter

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook 

Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google 

Shou Zi Chew, CEO, TikTok 

Jack Dorsey, CEO, Twitter 

 

We write to you to ask that you urgently prioritise the safety of women on your platforms. 

Today at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris, world leaders come together to agree on a  plan to advance women’s rights — the most important gathering of its kind in 25 years. This is  a historic opportunity for you, the CEOs of some of the world’s most powerful tech platforms,  to tackle one of the biggest barriers to gender equality: the pandemic of online abuse against  women and girls. 

The commitments you make today should be seen as a promise to women and girls around  the world that you will decisively deal with the abuse that they are subject to on your plat forms. 

The scale of the problem is huge: 38% of women globally have directly experienced online  abuse. This figure rises to 45% for Gen Zs and Millennials. For women of colour, for Black  women in particular, for women from the LGBTQ+ community and other marginalised groups  — the abuse is often far worse. The consequences can be devastating

The internet is the town square of the 21st century. It is where debate takes place, commu nities are built, products are sold and reputations are made. But the scale of online abuse  means that, for too many women, these digital town squares are unsafe. This is a threat to  progress on gender equality. 

A huge volume of this abuse takes place on social media platforms — and its reach is global.  Your decisions shape the way billions of people experience life online. With your incredible  financial resources and engineering might, you have the unique capability and responsibility  to ensure your platforms prevent, rather than fuel, this abuse. 

No quick-fix will cure the problem, but there are many avenues to make significant progress.  For over a year, you have engaged with civil society and government experts from over 35  countries to tackle online abuse. This has been an important step forward, demonstrating the  power of co-creating solutions informed by a wide range of partners, including women who  have directly experienced abuse.  

Now it is vital to put into action two priorities women have said are critical for their safety —  more control of their experiences on your platforms, and better reporting systems: 

Give people greater control to manage their safety. Rather than a one-size-fits-all experi ence, women should have more control over who can interact with them on tech platforms,  as well as more choice over what, when and how they see content online. These tools should  be easy to find and simple to use. 

Improve your systems for reporting abuse. Current tools need to be improved so women  can easily report abuse and track the progress of these reports. For example, dashboards that  show users the status of all their reports in one place, features to guide them through the  reporting process, and tools that offer women access to additional support when it’s needed,  could make a huge difference. 

Commitments you make today to address these two areas are a positive and necessary step.  How you take these forward also matters. As you work towards these goals, we’ll be watching:  we will recognise when you make progress and hold you to account when you don’t. Your  progress against these commitments will be tracked annually. 

Imagine what you can achieve if you follow through on commitments to build safer platforms:  an online world where a journalist can engage with feedback on her reporting, not assas sinations of her character. Where a politician may read complaints about her policies, but  not threats of rape and murder. Where a young woman can share what she wants to on her  terms, knowing there are systems to keep her safe and hold harassers accountable. 

If you build this better internet for women, you will build a better internet for everyone. You  have the way. Now show the world that you also have the will. 

 

 

Signed, 

Diane Abbott Member of Parliament, UK House  of Commons 
Betty Achana Executive Secretary, National Union  Of Women with Disabilities Of  Uganda (NUWODU) 
Lillian Achom Director and Founder, Access Plus 
Salmana Ahmed Luminate 
Nidzara Ahmetasevic Journalist & researcher  
Hilda Ajeilat Co-founder, Jordan Transparency  Center 
Seyi Akiwowo Founder & Executive Director, Glitch 
Rhonda Alexander Board Member, Ethical Social Group  and CEO, Fluttr 
Shahira Amin Al Monitor Correspondent (Egypt)
Rebecca Amsellem Feminist activist, economist and  founder of feminist newsletter Les  Glorieuses 
Fleur Anderson Member of Parliament, UK House  of Commons 
Gillian Anderson OBE Actor and activist 
Dr Carolina Are Online moderation researcher,  activist and blogger 
Htaike Htaike Aung Executive Director, Myanmar ICT for  Development 
Arda Awais Co-creator, Identity 2.0 
Michelle Bachelet Jeria United Nations High Commissioner  for Human Rights 
Godha Bapuji Founder, Strategy and Mission  Director, Cyber, Human and  International Security, Women in  Crisis (WiCR) 
Tupou’tuah Baravilala Permanent Secretary to ICT  Minister, Fiji 
Laura Bates Founder, Everyday Sexism Project 
Tatiana Bazzichelli Founder & Artistic Director,  Disruption Network Lab 
Wafa Ben-Hassine Human Rights Lawyer 
Jacqui Berrell Owner and Manager, Inform Public  Relations 
Amanda Berry OBE CEO, BAFTA 
Lauren Beukes Author  
R Vaishno Bharati Project Associate, IT for Change 
Kristiana Blahnik Chief Executive Officer, Manolo  Blahnik 
Marcia Blenko Board Member, World Wide Web  Foundation 
Donna Lee Bowen Professor Emerita of Political  Science and Middle East Studies,  Brigham Young University 
Dr Nechama Brodie Writer and academic 
Edith Brou Activist & Blogger 
Alison Brysk Distinguished Mellichamp Professor  of Global Governance at the  University of California, Santa  Barbara 
Julie Burton President and CEO, Women’s Media  Center 
Winnie Byanyima Executive Director, UNAIDS
Elena Calistru President and Co-founder, Funky  Citizens 
Kemly Camacho General Coordinator, Cooeprativa  Sulá Batsú 
Mary Caprioli Associate professor of political  science, University of Minnesota— Duluth, Head of the Department of  Political Science and Director of the  International Relations Program 
Sopheap Chak Executive Director, Cambodian  Centre for Human Rights 
Nandini Chami Deputy Director, IT for Change 
Gemma Chan Actor 
Maggie Chapman Member of the Scottish Parliament 
Soraya Chemaly Executive Director, Women’s Media  Center Speech Project 
Asma Cherfi CEO, African Leader Nexus 
Amrita Chowdhury Director, CCAOI 
Helen Clark Former Prime Minister of New  Zealand and former UNDP  Administrator 
Kat Cohen CEO, Ivywise 
Lily Cole Actor, model, social entrepreneur 
Sasha Costanza-Chock Faculty Associate, Berkman-Klein  Center for Internet & Society at  Harvard University 
Nicola Coughlan Actor 
Bea Covington Global Partnership Director,  AMPLIO 
Lana Cuthbertson CEO & Founder, Areto Labs 
Catherine D’Ignazio Assistant Professor of Urban  Science & Planning Director, Data  + Feminism Lab, Department of  Urban Studies & Planning, MIT 
Amali de Alwis MBE Tech and Startups 
Sagra Maceira de Rosen Managing Director, SIO Global  
Andrea den Boer Lecturer in international politics,  University of Kent 
Bhagyashri Dengle Executive Director Asia-Pacific  Region, Plan International 
Jessica Dheere Director, Ranking Digital Rights 
Marisa Drew Chief Sustainability Officer, Credit  Suisse
Anne Dunn-Baleilevuka Commissioner for the Online Safety  Commission, Fiji 
Sarah Elago Activist, youth sector  representative, and Philippine  lawmaker 
Monica Emiru Executive Director, National  Association of Women’s  Organizations in Uganda (NAWOU) 
Alice Eve Actor 
Paloma Faith Music Artist 
Rebecca Firth Director, Transformation and  Community, Humanitarian  OpenStreetMap Team 
Melissa Fleming United Nations Under-Secretary General for Global Communications 
Deborah Frances-White Comedian and activist 
Paula Fray Journalist, media trainer, and CEO,  frayintermedia 
Mei Lin Fung Chairman of the Board, co-founder  with Vint Cerf, People Centered  Internet 
Pam Garside Partner at Newhealth; Fellow of the  Judge Business School, University of  Cambridge 
Anja Gengo Executive Officer, Internet  Governance Secretariat 
Arzu Geybulla Journalist, Azerbaijan Internet  Watch 
Julia Gillard 27th Prime Minister of Australia,  Chair, Global Institute for Women’s  Leadership 
Tabitha Goldstaub Co-founder, CogX and Chair, UK  Gov AI Council 
Miriam González Co-Founder, GeoChicas 
Dorothy Gordon Chair, Information for All  Programme, UNESCO 
Julie Inman Grant Australian eSafety Commissioner 
Anita Gurumurthy Executive Director, IT for Change 
Ferial Haffajee Editor and journalist 
Professor Dame Wendy Hall University of Southampton 
Swee Leng Harris Luminate 
Yasmeen Hassan Global Executive Director, Equality  Now 
Caroline Haworth Chief Executive, Womankind  Worldwide
Leila Hessini Vice President, Global Fund for  Women 
Laura SL Herman Global Gender Equity Practice,  Dalberg 
Marianne Diaz Hernández Researcher and activist 
Risa Hontiveros Philippine Senator, women’s and  children’s rights advocate, activist 
Valerie Hudson University Distinguished Professor  and George H.W. Bush Chair at  The Bush School of Government  and Public Service at Texas A&M  University 
Hera Hussain CEO, CHAYN 
Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE Co-Founder and CEO, Stemettes 
Judicaelle Irakoze Executive Director, Choose Yourself 
Barbara Iyayi Board Member, World Wide Web  Foundation 
Céline Jacquin Co-Founder, GeoChicas 
Fatou Jagne West Africa Director, ARTICLE 19 
Kate James Chair of the Board, Vital Voices  Global Partnership 
Nina Jankowicz Author and Global Fellow, The  Wilson Center 
Shruthi Jayaram Co-Lead, Global Gender Equity,  Dalberg Advisors 
Aranya Johar Poet 
Lysa John CIVICUS Secretary-General 
Dr Omobola Johnson Senior Partner, TLcom Capital LLP 
Sonia Jorge Executive Director, Alliance for  Affordable Internet 
Ashley Judd Actor and activist 
Ellen Judson Senior Researcher, CASM, Demos 
Gypsy Guillén Kaiser Advocacy and communications  director, Committee to Protect  Journalists 
Dame Jude Kelly Theatre director 
Sonia Khan CEO, SBK Tech Ventures 
Nikita Khanna Monitoring, Evaluation and  Learning Coordinator, Restless  Development
Baroness Beeban Kidron Founder, 5Rights Foundation 
Jane Kihungi Director, Women Challenged to  Challenge 
Billie Jean King Founder, Billie Jean King Leadership  Initiative 
Lauren Klein Associate Professor of English and  Quantitative Theory & Methods,  Emory University 
Caitlin Kraft-Buchman CEO & Founder, Women@theTable 
Jacqueline Lampe CEO, RNW Media 
Jensine Larsen Founder & CEO, World Pulse Dame Twiggy Lawson DBE 
Kim Leadbeater Candidate for UK Parliament 
Rosemary Leith Co-founder, World Wide Web  Foundation 
Claudia Leitte Music Artist 
Annie Lennox OBE Founder, The Circle 
Heather Leson Technologist 
Helena Leurent Director General, Consumers  International 
Graça Machel 
Rebecca MacKinnon Co-founder, Global Voices and  Founder, Ranking Digital Rights
Ester Maestro European Projects Coordinator,  Fundación Cibervoluntarios 
Ian Mangenga Founder, Digital Girl Africa 
Nathalie Margi Senior Advocacy Officer, Urgent  Action Fund for Women’s Human  Rights 
Angelica Mari Journalist 
Rebecca Masisak CEO, TechSoup 
Rose McDermott The David and Mariana Fisher  University Professor of International  Relations at Brown University and a  Fellow in the American Academy of  Arts and Sciences 
Dr Claire Melamed CEO, Global Partnership for  Sustainable Development Data 
Debbie Millman Designer, writer, podcaster
Pat Mitchell Founder & CEO, POW! Strategies  and Editorial Director, TEDWomen 
Fikile Moeti (Fix) Broadcaster and social  entrepreneur 
Shyleen Momanyi Co-Executive Director, Young  Women’s Leadership Institute 
Jo Morfee Co-founder, InnovateHer 
Françoise Moudouthe CEO, African Women’s Development  Fund (AWDF) 
Immaculate Mukasa Executive Director, Mentoring and  Empowerment Programme for  Young Women (MEMPROW) 
Samhita Mukhopadhyay Author  
Tina Musuya Executive Director, Centre for  Domestic Violence Prevention  (CEDOVIP) 
Racheal Nakitare Assistant TV Programmes Manager,  International Association of Women  in Radio and Television 
Juliet Nanfuka CIPESA (Collaboration on  International ICT Policy in East and  Southern Africa)  
Farah Nazeer CEO, Women’s Aid 
Alyse Nelson Co-Founder, President & CEO, Vital  Voices Global Partnership 
Sophie Nelson Advocacy Champion, The World  Association of Girl Guides and Girl  Scouts 
Thandiwe Newton OBE Actor and activist 
Achia Nila Founder, CEO, Women in Digital 
Carole Njoya Founder & Managing Director/CEO,  Alcees 
Bulanda Nkhowani Program Officer, Paradigm Initiative  
Monica Nthiga Regional Director – East Africa,  Humanitarian OpenStreetMap  Team 
Nnenna Nwakanma Chief Web Advocate, World Wide  Web Foundation 
Rita Nyampinga Director, Female Prisoners Support  Trust (FEMPRIST) 
Tope Ogundipe Director, Tech Societal 
Femi Oke  Journalist and Broadcaster 
Scheaffer Okore Director of Policy and Advocacy,  Women Political Leaders 
Ursula Owusu-Ekuful Minister for Communications and  Digitalisation, Ghana
Trisha Pande Research Associate, Centre for  Policy Research 
Pooja Pant Director, Voices of Women Media 
Melody Patry Advocacy Director, Access Now 
Nnenna Paul-Ugochukwu Chief Operating Officer, Paradigm  Initiative 
Sandra Pepera Director, Gender, Women and  Democracy, National Democratic  Institute 
Jess Phillips Member of Parliament, UK House  of Commons 
Emilie Pradichit Founder, Manushya Foundation 
Angela Quintal Africa program coordinator,  Committee to Protect Journalists  
Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh Director of Africa Regional  Programme, International  Commission of Jurists 
Maria Ressa Journalist and CEO, Rappler 
Mary Robinson Former President of Ireland and  former UN High Commissioner for  Human Rights 
Joanna Rubinstein Dr, Council Member, Expert, UN  Sustainable Development Solutions  Network 
Ester Borges Santos Minas Programam 
Tanya Selvaratnam Senior Advisor on Gender  Justice Narratives, Pop Culture  Collaborative 
Anasuya Sengupta Co-Director, Whose Knowledge? 
Raakhi Shah CEO, The Circle 
Tiffany Shlain Founder of Webby Awards & Author 
Andrea Simon Director, End Violence Against  Women Coalition 
Chelsea Slater Co-founder, InnovateHer 
Leslie Lynn Smith National Director, GET Cities 
Lynn St.Amour President & CEO, Internet Matters 
Revi Sterling Director, USAID WomenConnect  Challenge 
Catherine Stihler OBE CEO, Creative Commons 
Debbie Stothard Chair, International Campaign for  the Rohingya
Ramona Strugariu Member of the European  Parliament 
Kathryn D. Sullivan Astronaut, Explorer 
Asha Sumputh Journalist 
Savena Surana Co-founder, Identity 2.0 
Yifat Susskind Executive Director, MADRE 
Precious Taru Executive Director, Musasa Project 
Professor Mina Teicher Director of the Emmy Noether  Research Institute (Israel); former  chief scientist at Israel’s Ministry of  Science and Technology 
WahKuShee Tenner Director, Karen Peace Support  Network 
Jeni Tennison OBE Vice President and Chief Strategy  Adviser, Open Data Institute 
Sarai Tevita ICT Director, University of Samoa 
Yeama Thompson Director General, Sierra Leone  News Agency 
Amalia Toledo 
Jenny Toomey International Director of Technology  & Society, Ford Foundation 
FKA twigs Music Artist 
Gergana Tzvetkova, PhD Researcher 
Onyinye Udokporo CEO, Enrich Learning 
Mariana Valente Director, InternetLab – Brazil 
Gauri van Gulik Women’s rights activist 
Rachel VanNice Senior Manager, Global Operations  & GDI Lead, Humanitarian  OpenStreetMap Team 
Elodie Vialle Consultant, Digital Safety and Free  Expression, PEN America; Berkman  Klein Center at Harvard 
Arnalie Vicario Online Community Engagement  Lead for Humanitarian,  Openstreetmap Team and Core  Member of GeoladiesPH 
Viktorya Vilk Program Director, Digital Safety and  Free Expression, PEN America 
Marieliv Flores Villalobos Activist Director, Hiperderecho 
Priya Jaisinghani Vora CEO and Founder, Future State
Adele Vrana Co-Director, Whose Knowledge? 
Ssenfuka Joanita Warry Executive Director, Freedom and  Roam Uganda 
Emma Watson Actor and activist 
Dr Charlotte Webb Feminist Internet 
Marnie Webb  Chief Community Impact Officer,  TechSoup, CEO of Caravan Studios,  a division of TechSoup 
Moira Whelan  Director, Democracy and  Technology, National Democratic  Institute 
Jayathma Wickramanayake UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on  Youth 
Marty Wikstrom  Founding Partner, Atelier Fund;  Board Member, World Wide Web  Foundation 
Maisie Williams  Actor, filmmaker, and  environmentalist 
Rhea Wong Founder, Rhea Wong Consulting 
Professor Ngaire Woods University of Oxford 
Inés Yábar Senior Global Campaigns  Coordinator, Restless Development  
Selene Yang  GeoChicas 
Jillian C. York  Director for International Freedom  of Expression, Electronic Frontier  Foundation 
Anita Zaidi  President of Gender Equality,  Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

One Response

  1. Hopefully these social media platforms will comply accordingly. The girl child has obviously become an endangered specie in this present time and age with so many predator men who can’t be responsible around women even on social media. This initiative must be applauded 👍🏼

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