Bots Supporting the #MeToo Movement
While the majority of chatbots we see are being created to assist businesses, we love to discover innovative use cases for bots, because who wouldn’t love a chatbot built to inspire communities, impact social issues and improve society? Chatbots can be leveraged to drive social issues by easily informing users and pushing people to join a movement or make a change!
With the advent of the #MeToo movement, chatbots are starting to play a crucial role in helping communities unite and empower and help survivors of assault and harassment.
Chatbots are able to:
1) support victims,
2) address incidents of assault and demand justice, and
3) educate people on action steps
Benefits of Using Chatbots
Chatbots have been proven to be a useful technology in cases of emotional distress as demonstrated by companion bots like Replika.ai, or counseling and therapy bots like Woebot. These two examples demonstrate how chatbots help gather information about their users, and can even build a relationship based on trust and previous knowledge about a user’s preferences and behavior. Some of the reasons that chatbots are effective is:
Chatbots are easily accessible, always available, and respond instantaneously
Chatbots can automate and move along the process of gathering crucial information about the victim’s experience, which can be used to file a report
Chatbots are useful in sensitive situations and remove judgment or biases from the equation, which contribute to a reason victims of sexual assault are hesitant to file reports
A chatbot gives the victim the space to feel comfortable sharing their experience, especially if they are not ready to speak to another person
Chatbots can empower victims by sending them helpful resources to move forward and heal after a traumatic incident
Chatbots in Action
Here are two great bots that are supporting this movement:
Biri is a chatbot developed by a team led by Ajoke Ekemene to address the issue of physical and sexual abuse in Nigeria, where statistics demonstrate high rates of abuse, but low rates of incident reports. Biri is a platform that allows survivors to tell their stories, either identifying themselves or not, if they so choose. After the chatbot has recorded their story, users are connected to counselors. Biri operates with a 24/7 helpline and is already connected to multiple survivor centers in Nigeria to provide round-the-clock support and connect users to human individuals and resources for help. The Biri team is working towards eventually connecting users to legal services to enable survivors to pursue justice.
Me2Bot, named for the viral hashtag and movement, is a chatbot created by Indian company Gupshup to help victims of workplace sexual harassment. Me2Bot provides a confidential platform for survivors of sexual harassment incidents to record their experience. Survivors can easily message the Me2Bot, which will gather information about each incident, and then send users useful resources regarding how to deal with their specific case.
By giving victims a trusted, anonymous way to record or report incidents, as well as receive feedback and start action steps, we get closer to a culture of accountability.
Leveraging chatbot technology can improve society by gathering accurate information and improve the efficacy of how society addresses incidents of assault and harassment.
Have another example of how bots are helping to support the #MeToo Movement? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.