Facebook Gets Socially Responsible, Allows Users to Define Their Gender
Gender rights and equality issues is one of the major conversational topics today. There has been more interest than ever to give equal representations to all members of society. Facebook has been one of the most prominent tech companies that has tried to engage on this issue. The company last year unveiled a huge list of new sexual identities for users to choose from but now the company has gone further. It now allows users to specify it for themselves.
Facebook had unveiled another feature where users could select from options like cisgender, transgender or intersex. But some users found the move not inclusive enough. So now the social media superpower has gone ahead to let the users themselves choose how they want to be addressed by the service. Users can select how they define their gender and can select from options like her/him/them, as to how they want to be referred to as on Facebook. It will also let users select who they want to share their gender information with through privacy settings.
Facebook’s use of its platform for socially responsible causes doesn’t end here, the company also unveiled a new suicide prevention feature. This is an applaudable move because we are getting limited to social networking for human interaction, and this will help troubled individuals to get support from concerned friends. The feature lets users report to Facebook if they see troubling content that would define suicidal thoughts in an individual. Facebook’s professionals will go through the reports and decide on providing help to the individual. Facebook has worked with various agencies who specialize in suicide prevention to come up with this new feature.
Another Silicon Valley powerhouse, Apple announced new emoji’s in order to address diversity issues. The makers of iPhone have unveiled new emoji line up that will represent people of all races. This feature is added in the iOS 8.3 beta and will probably arrive later this year.
It’s encouraging to see the tech industry standing up for the values of equality. Social media and messaging apps are the most important communication tools and it’s good to see them have more utility than just telling us what our random high school acquaintance had for lunch.