Twitter Teams Up With UN Women, UN Human Rights Office to Combat the ‘Shadow Pandemic’

There have been 1 million tweets per month about domestic violence and related issues since Covid-19 lockdowns began in March

There have been 40 million tweets about women’s rights thus far in 2020 UN Women

Twitter detailed its initiatives to promote awareness of the issue of domestic violence and mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women Nov. 25 and International Human Rights Day Dec. 10.

The social network discussed the “shadow pandemic,” saying in a blog post that for every three months that Covid-19 lockdowns continue, the United Nations Population Fund estimates that 15 million more women are expected to be directly affected by violence.

Twitter said in a blog post this week that since shelter-in-place orders began taking effect in March, there have been 1 million tweets per month about domestic violence and related issues and, in 2020 as a whole, there have been 40 million tweets about women’s rights.

The social network teamed up with UN Women and the UN Human Rights Office on custom hashtag-triggered emojis that will be added to tweets with the hashtags #16Days, #GenerationEquality, HumanRightsDay, #OrangeTheWorld and other localized hashtags through Dec. 10.

Twitter will also provide Ads for Good grants to several nonprofit partners so that they can reach more people on the topic, and it will amplify regional campaigns and messages about the importance of gender equality and eliminating violence against women.

The company teamed up with health authorities and nonprofit organizations in various markets to expand its #ThereIsHelp notification service, which sends notifications with contact information for local hotlines and other resources to users who search for terms associated with gender-based violence.

#ThereIsHelp prompts were added this month in in Belgium, Canada, France, Germany and Italy, bringing the total number of markets where the feature is available to 24.

UN Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said in a statement, “We have seen the whole world respond to the coronavirus pandemic with all hands on deck, and with responsive investment and protocols backed by determination. Violence against women is also a pandemic—one that predates the virus and will outlive it. As we face Covid-19’s devastation, there has never been a more important moment to put our combined resources and commitment behind the biggest issues and work with partners like Twitter to end violence against women and girls for good.”

And Twitter wrote in its blog post, “The open internet has played a foundational role in the efforts of social media platforms like Twitter to connect people to helpful resources, healthy conversation and community. We look forward to continued work to ensure that Twitter remains a safe place for people to shine light on critical and timely issues. Let’s continue to #OrangeTheWorld one tweet at a time.” David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.