Facebook is taking significant steps to ensure the safety of its users. A few years ago, they launched "Facebook safety check", that allows people in areas of crisis or disaster to assure their loved ones that they are safe. Early in 2016, Facebook also hosted a women safety round-table discussion in Kenya in a bid to ensure that women feel safe when they use the platform.
Recently, Facebook partnered with the International Centre for Leadership Development Nigeria (ICLDNG), to provide free internet safety resources and tools through its safety centre intended to allow users enjoy safer user experience on the platform.
With increasing concerns on internet safety, the safety centre is a commendable initiative by Facebook. In a survey, statistics from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, US Department of Health and Human Services, Cyberbullying Research Center revealed that 84.2% of people reported cyberbullying on Facebook in 2016. Cyberbullying can result in many damaging consequences, especially in adolescents and teens. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and even suicide
Facebook safety centre offers numerous tools and resources that are designed to allow safe and secure information sharing on the Facebook platform. It also features a Bullying Prevention Hub which intends to educate parent, educators and teens on ways to prevent bullying on Facebook. Parents also get parenting tips that should help them improve their children’s experience on the parents’ portal. This safety centre can be accessed on mobile devices and also include videos on different topics
Now there is no doubt that facebook has the safety of their users at heart and they have made laudable efforts to ensure users have a safer Facebook experience. However, one can question the effectiveness of some of these approaches. Can the Facebook safety centre achieve its intended purpose in Nigeria? Some issues that should be put into consideration include;
- Will Nigerians find safety centre worthwhile considering the issue of limited data that continue to plague us?
- Will Nigerian parents be willing to look up to Facebook centre for parenting advice?
- Can Facebook convince people to react differently to safety concerns through the information on the centre?
Unless there is a clear plan on how to convince Nigerians to use the safety centre, then it is likely going to be unproductive in the end.