“Take Back the Tech! ” Project

Women visit social media sites more often than men and spend more time on them. Women send more tweets and share more posts. Also, they have to deal with the technological violence.

Take Back the Tech! (TBTT) project is a collaborative campaign to reclaim information and communication technologies (ICTs) to end violence against women. Launched in July 2014, the latest TBTT campaign targets the three biggest social media platforms to take a clear stand on violence against women in their terms of service, and to engage with diverse civil society to find solutions for safer platforms.

They raise the following questions and demands to the Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

  • What laws and norms do Facebook, Twitter and YouTube use to define violence?
  • Who is reporting abuse? Who is committing abuse? Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have numbers and we want them.
  • Why aren’t they responsive to the needs of women in all the countries they serve?
  • Why not develop policies that specifically address gender-based violence?
  • International law requires them to respect human rights. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube need to make a clear commitment.
  • It is urgent that they take a stand on violence against women in their terms of service.
  • It is critical for them to engage with civil society to find solutions for safer platforms.

Take Back the Tech! calls all users to join them in demanding change:

  • Ask: “What are you doing about violence against women?” Users can use these questions to engage companies on Twitter with #WhatAreYouDoingAboutVAW.
  • Rate: they will compile user report cards survey to rate social media on various aspects related to violence against women:
    Transparency on procedures for reporting abuse
    Ease of reporting abuse
    Responsiveness to needs of non-US/European women
    Overall approach to violence against women
    Commitment to human rights, including women’s rights.
  • Demand: Users are invited to tell these companies what they want and to share solutions.

The project is being carried out in 12 developing countries:

  • Africa: South Africa, Uganda, the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
  • Asia: Pakistan, Cambodia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
  • Latin America: Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, and Brazil.

The following women and girls most likely to benefit:

Marginalised women: Survivors of domestic and sexual violence will participate directly in training activities. Vulnerable women, especially poor, rural and migrant women, will be reached in partnership with women’s rights organisations and work will be aimed at increasing their capacity to use technology for awareness-raising and educational rights-based campaigns.

Teenage girls: The project will reach out to adolescent girls and girls’ networks in target countries for participation in training activities, digital story telling workshops, and in the Take Back the Tech! campaign.

Women in armed conflict: The project will offer training on safe practices for internet and telecommunications use to women and women’s organisations working in conflict situations.

Project web page


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