Facebook South Asia Safety Summit 2019
As a Trusted Partner of Facebook Corporation, Hithawathi got the opportunity to participate ‘Facebook South Asia Safety Summit 2019’ held in New Delhi on the 19th November 2019 representing Sri Lanka. Stakeholders from India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Afghanistan too joined the Summit, which was organized for the 2nd time.
The Summit took all the efforts to discuss of how to keep the society secure when they face issues with the trendy use of Facebook and Instagram in South Asian countries. The Ministress for Women & Child Development (India) launched ‘We Think Digital’, which includes learning modules related to online safety. It was quite pathetic to get to know that domestic violence in South Asian countries is supported and justified by 50% of the society.
There were few presentations and panel discussions with regard to various topics such as a description of Facebook about their partnerships, policies, tools, resources and feedback, an open-source photo video matching technology to prevent kids’ abusive images being published in future, ‘Child Safety Hackathon’, non-consensually shared intimate images (to threaten / revenge), ‘Let’s Talk’ suicide prevention mental health foundation, Human trafficking, new tools of Instagram (managing time, privacy settings, interactions in comment filters, restriction instead of blocking, comment warnings – currently in USA only, hiding likes and reporting), ‘Aarambh India’, safeguarding children against sexual offences, reporting of hate speech and nudity, ‘Counter Speech Fellowship’ (CSF), The Queer Muslim Project and creating equality / digital literacy of women including the disabled. Therein Cybercrime laws in Sri Lanka were questioned too.
The Summit paved the way for Hithawathi to meet up a lot of resource persons from a number of international organizations that work for the goals of somewhat similar.
ලංකාවේ සයිබර් හිංසනය සහ ඊට ගොදුරු වූවන්ට සහනය දෙන “හිතවතී” ව්යාපෘතිය ගැන කරුණු 12ක්
Women’s Safety Forum
Hithawathi had a discussion with its stakeholders on the 07th October 2019 at Colombo in order to identify the major issues currently faced by women & children in cyberspace and come up with solutions for them.
What was pointed out the most in this forum was the abuse of photos / videos plus misuse of others’ personal information when the relationships break up, cyber bulling and dark web issues. Additionally, it was recognized according to the statistics of Hithawathi that not only women face those problems but also men equally become helpless in cyber related matters. Then again it was confirmed that Hithawathi never refuses to support the male victims, even though the project was commenced focusing on women and children.
Educating the society on how to be safe online with the collaboration of stakeholders through different ways and means was discussed so as to minimize the occurrence of cyber harassment. Moreover, reporting the unauthorized harmful content via related channels was encouraged as the suitable remedy.
Representatives from Facebook Corporation, Women In Need, 1938 – Women’s Help Line of Ministry of Women and Child Affairs, Sri Lanka Sumithrayo and Yeheli Project of Dialog Group participated the forum organized by Hithawathi team under the guidance of Prof. Gihan Dias, CEO of LK Domain Registry.
At the forum, the progress of Hithawathi during the last six months was analyzed and suggestions for its further development were made by the interested parties.
Collaboration between Facebook Corp. and LK Domain Registry – Hithawathi Project.
It was on the 02nd of July 2019, that LK Domain Registry – Hithawathi Project and Facebook Corporation officially announced their collaboration. Through this bond, ‘Hithawathi’ becomes a Trusted Partner of Facebook which is the major social media platform in Sri Lanka.
The event took place at the Auditorium of Information & Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) of Sri Lanka, Colombo 05 in the presence of Hon. Thalatha Athukorala – Minister of Justice, Prof. Gihan Dias – CEO of LK Domain Registry, Prof. Rohan Samarajiva – Chairman of ICTA, Ms. Shelley Thakral – Head of Policy Programs of Facebook for India, South & Central Asia, Mr. Senura Abeywardena, Public Policy Manager of Facebook for Sri Lanka, Mr. Yasas Vishuddhi Abeywickrama – Policy Programs Manager of Facebook for Sri Lanka and many other distinguished guests from various fields.
‘Hithawathi’ is a Supporter, a Listener, a Counselor to Internet users, especially for minors, teenagers, young girls and women educating the society on recognizing incidents related to Cyber harassment, Cyber stalking, Cyber blackmailing and Cyber bullying. Moreover, Hithawathi makes you aware of how to prevent such circumstances and is always there to guide you if such incidents occur.
This collaboration is quite significant for Facebook users among Hithawathi clients as that facilitates the communication between them and Facebook especially in the process of direct reporting. Furthermore, it will make the Sri Lankan society aware of how to use social media wisely and positively to bring benefits to everyone.
Website launched to combat cyberbullying