Facebook partners WCD Ministry to boost digital literacy

New Delhi, Nov 19 (IANS) In a bid to make social networking secure and safe for women and children, Facebook on Tuesday announced several initiatives to accelerate digital literacy efforts in India.

Among the initiatives are a content partnership with the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD), formation of an ideal “Internet Consortium” to propose recommendations for online child safety and launch of ‘We Think Digital’, the company’s global digital literacy programme.

“While the Internet opens doors for women and children to learn and gain knowledge, it also comes with the responsibility to ensure their safety, and to enable them to express their views without any apprehension. Our constant effort has been to progress the cause of equal opportunity for women and ensure a safe environment for children,” Union Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani told the gathering at the second edition of Facebook’s “South Asia Safety Summit” here.

The summit was joined by over 100 organisations from Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and India.

“Together with Facebook, we want to build ways, in which we equip and educate people to help them make smarter choices online and learn about Internet safety,” Irani added.

Facebook is set to launch another campaign called “Thumbstoppers” next year, which will be a series of short creative mobile videos under 10 seconds from India’s advertising community, focusing on empowering and educating people on issues like gender equality, domestic violence and education for the girl child.

“Our digital literacy efforts are focused on addressing specific problem areas in the social media world, which are essentially about how we connect to and interact with people and our online ethics and behaviour,” said Ankhi Das, Director of Public Policy, Facebook India.

“We are building programmes that are aimed at Internet users’ digital hygiene and maintaining online privacy and security,” she added.

Facebook said it is committed to support economic growth and social good in India and is working with partners to train more than five million people by 2021.

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