The dating application Bumble has launched a new online safety initiative to help protect women in India from online abuse.
Stand for Safety was created in collaboration with Safecity, an Indian-based public safety platform owned by the Red Dot Foundation. The goal of the initiative is to help women identify, prevent, and tackle negative online behavior including bullying, aggression, and hateful comments.
News of the initiative follows a recent survey conducted by Bumble that found that most (83%) women in India have been the target of online harassment, with one in three experiencing it on a weekly basis.
The research also found that the majority of women (70%) say online bullying has worsened since the global health pandemic began.
“As a result of this digital abuse epidemic, well over half (59%) of women we surveyed in India said they feel unsafe,” said a spokesperson for Bumble.
“No one should have to feel afraid of harassment online, nor should they—as 1 in 3 women reported—put on a brave face and let this behavior slide for fear of retribution.”
Behavior flagged in the new safety guide includes cyber-staking, doxxing, online impersonation, and concern trolling—pretending to express concern for someone to criticize or undermine them.
Flaming, when one person attacks another online by posting disrespectful comments about them, was also highlighted, with victims advised to document incidents and to report and block them on the platform where the abuse took place.
Another form of online abuse that users are warned to look out for is “outing,” the leaking of someone’s personal videos without their consent. This abuse is punishable under India law.
“Your first priority online should always be your personal safety,” states Stand for Safety. “It’s important to know and understand your rights in the digital space.”
“Many women are silenced and intimidated in online spaces due to harassment and bullying directed towards them,” said Red Dot Foundation founder ElsaMarie D’Silva.
“Today’s environment requires everyone to be comfortable and knowledgeable when accessing and utilizing digital spaces for various aspects of life. We hope our safety guide will help them navigate these spaces safely and confidently.”