Tech firms must do more to protect women online

Woman scrolls on phone in bed at night

Women are not only far more possible to be targeted but also put up with far more as a consequence, Ofcom’s study observed

The head of media regulator Ofcom says tech companies need to do far more to secure females on line, right after its report exposed they ended up much more probably to be victims.

Its report on British isles media practices states gals are far more most likely than adult men to face on the internet abuse or see destructive written content, and more possible to be distressed by it.

Only 42% of the ladies in its study explained they felt cozy about speaking freely on-line.

Dame Melanie Dawes said companies ought to prioritise consumer security over revenue.

Ofcom is set to turn into the regulator of social-media platforms as section of the government’s On-line Harms Monthly bill, which puts the onus on tech corporations to act quickly to defend people and get rid of hateful content – or encounter steep fines.

In its study of a lot more than 6,600 adults in the British isles, only 21% of people who experienced documented information to the social networks claimed it experienced been taken off as a consequence, and fifty percent stated very little experienced occurred at all.

“Appear at your algorithms. Way too lots of corporations prioritise advancement and earnings more than consumer safety and will not basically assume about the impression on the entrance-line consumer,” stated Dame Melanie, the regulator’s chief executive.

Dame Melanie Dawes, chief executive of Ofcom, stands beside Ofcom logo

Ofcom chief executive Dame Melanie Dawes explained tech giants should do more to secure feminine users on the net

“Let us speak to females and make it less difficult for them to report things. At the instant persons you should not believe in that if they do report items anything will be completed.”

Dame Melanie also urged the tech giants to “search in the mirror” and make certain feminine members of team were included in the progress of companies and platforms.

She explained it was “a lot, much more durable” to “retro-in good shape” security steps.

‘It really does get to you’

Iona Fyfe, a 24-yr-previous Scottish folks singer, is often subjected to abuse on Twitter.

“When it can be extended, prolonged, pile-ons, it seriously does get to you,” she reported.

“You dilemma your self-really worth, you problem your expertise, you concern if you are superior enough. I feel which is really unfortunate.

“I don’t believe we must be bullied out the space.”

Scottish singer Iona Fyfe speaks to the BBC

Singer Iona Fyfe claims prolonged social media abuse “seriously does get to you”

Meta tops application charts

Each individual 12 months Ofcom surveys countless numbers of British isles grown ups and small children to construct up a snapshot of their media behaviors.

It discovered that in 2021 adults spent an regular of four hrs a day online.

And the prime four most-utilized apps all belonged to Fb proprietor Meta.

Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger accounted for a merged common of 42 minutes of net use for each day.

All around 35 minutes were being invested on Google applications and sites.

General, folks in the United kingdom are spending a little bit much more time on the net now than they did during the 1st calendar year of the pandemic.

Of the folks in the study group who experienced experienced trolling, 60% of the women explained they experienced been afflicted by it, in comparison with 25% of the males.

Blended-ethnic and black web consumers ended up most possible to be exposed to opportunity damage on the web, with just about 75% indicating they experienced encountered it in the previous month.

However, overall 67% of web customers considered the benefits of currently being on the internet outweighed the challenges.


The report also appeared at gaming habits.

Smartphone displays Candy Crush Saga game and logo in background

Activision Blizzard’s Candy Crush Saga continues to be the UK’s best-reaching cell gaming app

It observed that the cell recreation with the most attain was however the 2012 title, Candy Crush Saga, which had 2.5 million Uk gamers (1.7 million of them women) in February 2022.

In the similar thirty day period 1.8 million adults performed Wordle.

Sony’s PlayStation Plus was the most well-liked gaming subscription services, with 3.2 million spending subscribers.

Other results integrated:

  • Of the Uk readers to the dating platform Tinder, 62% were males and 38% ended up gals

  • 58% of Uk 3-to-15-yr-olds use social media, these types of as TikTok or Snapchat (the age for possessing a social-media account is 13)

  • Just one in five individuals accessed the net only by way of a smartphone in 2021

  • There ended up five million Uk TikTok end users aged 15-24 in February 2022, spending 56 minutes for each day on the internet site on typical

  • In September 2021, 9 out of 10 grown ups used Amazon

  • The most prevalent sorts of “on the web damage” are ripoffs, phishing and fraud