Publication: Using Social Media to Change Gender Norms: An Experiment within Facebook Messenger in India
This paper experimentally tests the effectiveness of two short edutainment campaigns (under 25 minutes) delivered through Facebook Messenger at reshaping gender norms and reducing social acceptability of violence against women in India. Participants were randomly assigned to watch video clips with implicit or explicit messaging formats (respectively a humorous fake reality television drama or a docuseries with clear calls to action). After one week, the intent-to-treat effects of the implicit format on knowledge, gender norms, and acceptability of violence against women oscillated between 0.16 and 0.21 standard deviations yet impacts diminished after four months. By contrast, the explicit format was more impactful in the short term in increasing willingness to share video clips with friends and promoting online information-seeking behaviors. In the medium term, individuals who were exposed to the docuseries were 91 percent (7.5 percentage points) more likely to add a frame against violence against women in their Facebook profile picture, a public display of their disapproval of this harmful practice. The general lack of heterogeneous effects across social status indicators suggests social media as a potential medium for reaching different online populations, including vulnerable ones.
Link to Data Set
“Donati, Dante; Orozco-Olvera, Victor; Rao, Nandan. 2022. Using Social Media to Change Gender Norms: An Experiment within Facebook Messenger in India. Policy Research Working Papers;10199. © World Bank, Washington, DC. http://hdl.handle.net/10986/38113 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”
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