An internal study conducted by tech giant Meta in February reported that Indian women are ditching the social media platform Facebook worried about their safety and privacy in the male-dominated social network. Per Meta research study, concerns about content safety and unwanted contact impede women’s Facebook use. 

According to a story by Reuters, many women have shunned the male-dominated social network because they’re worried about their safety and privacy, according to the Meta research

“Concerns about content safety and unwanted contact impede women’s FB use,” said the study, reviewed by Reuters, as it detailed the platform’s main challenges.

This comes after Facebook reported the first-ever drop in daily users in a quarter, when it lost 500,000 users in the last three months of 2021, while growth across Meta’s other platforms Instagram and Whatsapp remained modest. Meta CFO had also noted that increased tariffs by Indian telcos were behind limiting growth for Facebook in India. With the country’s massive population and nearly half of its population yet to be connected with internet, India is one of the last growth frontiers for Facebook around the world.

When contacted by BusinessLine, a spokesperson for Meta said, “It’s no secret that we regularly invest in internal research to better understand the value our products provide and to help identify ways we can improve. This has informed our industry-leading efforts in key areas like online safety and bridging gender divide on the internet, to name just a few. But it’s misleading to characterise seven-month-old research as an accurate or comprehensive representation of the state of our business in India, especially considering we’ve spoken about this topic in our most recent earnings calls.”

Sources of growth

The spokesperson is alluding to the social media giant’s latest quarterly filing for the March 2022 quarter, wherein it noted that India, Bangladesh and Vietnam were the top three sources of growth in daily active users in March, relative to the same period in March 2021. The company recovered 30 million daily active users in the March quarter, thus reporting 1.96 billion daily active users for the latest quarter, a 4 per cent increase. 

Meta also cited various initiatives including the Women’ Safety Hub which was launched to enable more women users in India to access information about tools and resources that can help them make the most of their social media experience while staying safe online.

According to Reuters, the researchers at Meta found that 79 per cent of female Facebook users had “expressed concern about content/photo misuse”, while 20-30 per cent of overall users were estimated to have seen nudity on the platform within the last seven days in the largely conservative country.