There has been a persistent skepticism and fear among Facebook users, predominantly women when it comes to the safety of their pictures which has served as inspiration for Facebook’s latest update, the Profile Picture Guard which gives them more control over their profile pictures and protects them from virtual perverts.
Facebook has chosen India as the place to experiment and perfect the Profile Picture Guard, considering the misuse of profile pictures has prompted many Indian women to either opt towards not uploading their profile pictures at all, or live in fear of spotting their picture somewhere it should not be.
The new Profile Picture Guard from Facebook will help alleviate the stress for women by preventing virtual perverts or other distrusted users from,
Saving or downloading a person’s profile picture, or sharing it with others.
Tagging themselves or others in someone else’s profile picture.
Preventing others from taking a screenshot of the profile picture (available for Android only currently)
The Facebook Profile Picture Guard when turned on, will be signified by a blue border around the picture and a blue shield below the profile picture.
Facebook explains their motivation behind creating the Profile Picture Guard, “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. 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 has worked on the insight that “Based on preliminary tests, we’ve learned that when someone adds an extra design layer to their profile picture, other people are at least 75% less likely to copy that picture.”
Facebook has worked with Jessica Singh, an illustrator, for this project, and the blue frame and shield will help Facebook identify and remove such pictures when reported by anyone on Facebook.
Harassment on Facebook is a glaring issue and Facebook has had difficulty curbing it, but this is a step in the right direction from the social networking giant. Profile pictures being downloaded and shared without permission is only one of the problems that women face on social networking platforms, the other most obvious being nasty Facebook messages and comments with vulgar language.
Do you think the Facebook Profile Picture Guard can prevent misuse of pictures on the social network? Let us know in the comments, or tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org