FP StaffMay 27, 2022 16:04:40 IST
One of the harshest realities of social media is the hostility that women face on any given platform. From incessant trolling to rape and death threats for speaking out, to unsolicited messages and dick picks – the list goes on and on. Well, one tech company is looking to change the dynamics of how a traditional Web2 based social media platform like Facebook or Instagram functions.
‘Coto’ or ‘Coming Together’ is the latest offering from Eve World, a Web3 women-only social community platform that seeks to build a positive and valuable digital experience for women. Coto promises to “narrow the gender divide” on social media, where men outnumber women and therefore, only allows women and transgenders to be users on the platform
“In order to make the internet empowering and inclusive, it is imperative to have a safe space where we can freely express ourselves. Women don’t get the chance to have intimate conversations, which leads to self-censorship,” says Aparna Acharekar, co-founder of Eve World.
Rampant sexism, misogyny, and trolling have become almost synonymous with social media for women. On top of that, we really don’t have many actionable laws that would safeguard women and transgenders. And even social media platforms like LinkedIn, where the entire premise is to inculcate professional connections, have failed women and transgenders miserably.
“The platform will enable members to freely create, curate, consume and own content. The decentralised nature of blockchain will help in overcoming issues with privacy,” says Tarun Katial, CEO, Eve World. “Think of this as WhatsApp into Instagram or WhatsApp into Reddit or Reddit into Instagram but only for women,” he added.
The platform will be based on Web3, or third generation internet, which, using blockchain technology and the principles of decentralised ownership, meaning the members on the platform will be able to freely create, curate, consume and own content, all the while overcoming issues with privacy. Furthermore, members on the platform will not be bogged down with data breaches, algorithm based manipulation, and identity theft which actually is a major problem that women face.
Despite the fact that the internet has forever changed the manner in which we interact with the world and with each other, how information is disseminated and ideas are exchanged, women, especially in India, unfortunately, have not had a level playing field where they could take advantage of that.
One of the main things Acharekar felt was missing from “legacy social media platforms” is intimate conversations.
“Women tend to feel restricted as there is always a concern regarding abuse and harassment. Hence, no one feels free to talk about issues like menopause, motherhood and sexual problems. We want to open them up and have women make their own groups and talk about such issues,” she said.
While women will be allowed to post anonymously on ‘coto,’ safeguards have been put in place that kicks in during the registration process.
In order to set up an account on ‘coto’, a user will have to go through a basic KYC process, that will involve facial recognition. This is done so that the platform knows if a user is a woman or a trans person. If a person does not want to be discovered at all, they can choose to withhold their identity while engaging with other members of the community, once they register.
The platform also intends to monetise and help members showcase their business products via online marketplaces for women entrepreneurs on the platform.