These young women call for social media companies to better protect the safety of young diverse women online - SBS

One young woman told The Feed she’s lost so much faith in the reporting system on social media platforms she’s stopped using it due to the harassment she receives.

For Elizabeth Payne, receiving direct messages on Instagram asking for nudes or propositioning sexual services is a regular occurrence.

“I probably get messages of a sexual nature or propositioning sexual services on a weekly or fortnightly basis,” the 22-year-old told The Feed.

Elizabeth said this kind of interaction on social media is common amongst her friend group.

She said she used to report the messages but they would often come back saying the platform found nothing wrong - eventually she lost faith.

“I feel like social media platforms don’t pick up on reports unless it is in the extreme instances, I feel like they don’t understand there is a spectrum of abuse,” she said.

Elizabeth is part of a team of young female, and non-binary activists, from Plan International who’ve released a report this week calling for social media companies to do more to protect young women online. They’re also calling on companies to educate users on how to identify violence and abuse online.

Activist and co-author, Olivia Causer said the report found the need for people to be ‘active bystanders’ when they spot abuse online.

“An active bystander is someone who speaks out when they see abuse or violence online,” the 18-year-old told The Feed.

“That could be a supportive comment for the victim, calling out the perpetrator, or...

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