Monday, July 25, 2022
KARACHI: Meta, in collaboration with Zindagi Trust, is launching a broad-based awareness and stakeholder engagement campaign to prevent the spread of harmful content related to child safety in the online space.
Under the campaign, the partnering institutions will also raise awareness regarding the actions individual social media users can take to curb the spread of content depicting abuse or violence against children across cyberspace.
A series of policy roundtables will be organised with local civil society organisations (CSOs) and policy stakeholders working in the areas of both digital safety and child rights.
These roundtables are expected to provide a platform for engagement amongst local organisations to give recommendations to Meta as well as key government agencies including, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Ministry of Human Rights (MoHR), National Commission on the Rights of Child (NCRC) and other important industry stakeholders to tackle the sensitive issues pertaining to child safety in Pakistan.
The program will raise awareness of the harms of sharing such content and the importance of reporting through existing mechanisms and methods of reporting malicious content on social media.
The campaign uses informative videos to educate social media users about reporting inappropriate content through proper channels instead of sharing it on social media, which can cause further harm to young victims.
Sharing his thoughts regarding the campaign, Founder and President of Zindagi Trust, Shehzad Roy said: "Whenever I used to encounter disturbing content, my first instinct was to share it so it could help find the perpetrator. However, I have realised that the content can be distressing for many viewers, is illegal, and is a breach of privacy of the victims. We want to push for justice for victims and advocate for safer digital spaces instead of sensationalising traumatic events."
Roy said that Zindagi Trust takes pride in being a vocal advocate of policy-level change for children's safety and education and it relies on the support of government institutions and social media companies like Meta to help them achieve their goals
“We have a zero-tolerance policy for content related to child exploitation and abuse. Since this is a highly sensitive matter, we take a comprehensive approach to keep our family of apps free of such malicious content and continue to collaborate with local authorities, rights bodies and relevant stakeholders," said Sarim Aziz, who is the director of public policy, South Asia-Meta.
Meta and Zindagi Trust launched their collaborative effort for online child safety last year. This year the scope of the arrangement is being expanded to scale its impact nationwide.