If you’ve felt disgusted and helpless after seeing friends or complete strangers harass someone online or leave unwarranted lewd comments for all the world to see, Twitter is finally stepping up and helping users report gender-based violence online with their #ThereIsHelp notification service.
Launched today, the local language search prompts aim to respond to the sudden surge of global online or physical violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. When users search for Filipino keywords associated with gender-based violence, they will be presented with a prompt that directs them to the hotlines of local organizations that can help, as well as a list of non-government organizations (NGO) that can provide support.
This initiative builds on previous ones that Twitter has launched over the last few years, like mental health and suicide prevention, vaccination, child sexual exploitation and COVID-19 notification prompts that seek to bring Twitter users closer to organizations that can help them with real-world problems.
In a press release, Twitter says that they want to help alleviate this problem by partnering with institutions that people online need the most. “We recognize that collaboration—public, private and nonprofits—is a key to combating the complex issue of gender-based violence. We believe this partnership via the #ThereIsHelp notification service will contribute to the efforts of local organizations ensuring people can access and receive support when they need it the most.”
To ensure that the initiative is effective locally, Twitter partnered with the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) and the Women’s Care Center (WCC).
We are pleased to partner with @TwitterPH @Policy @NonProfits on #ThereIsHelp in the Philippines. This appears when certain keywords relating to gender-based violence are searched! Through this, women will be encouraged to seek help. We are here for you! pic.twitter.com/A17r871dDq
— Philippine Commission On Women (@PCWgovph) May 29, 2020
On the partnership, Atty. Kristine Yuzon-Chaves, executive director of PCW says, “During this pandemic, we continue to promote the protection of women from violence. We are utilizing all the tools and platforms, including digital channels and social media platforms, to make sure all women know that we are here to help. Through this search prompt, we hope survivors, or their family and friends will be emboldened to speak up, seek safety, stand up against violence, and hold the perpetrators accountable.”
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