An Indian media veteran is building a social media platform just for women after his wife got trolled on Whatsapp

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An Indian media veteran is building a social media platform just for women after his wife got trolled on Whatsapp
Tarun Katial, co-founder and CEO of Eve WorldEve World
  • Tarun Katial is currently working on the first-of-its-kind women-only social media platform Eve World.
  • There is an additional layer of blockchain technology added to the platform, which will allow the users to get rewarded for each action.
  • The platform will be launched in India, Middle East and Indonesia first, and then in other countries.
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Indian media executive and business professional Tarun Katial — who has previously led Zee5 and Big FM as founder chief executive — is now on a journey to make social media safer for women with his latest offering Eve World.

Katial has been working on the concept of Eve World, with Aparna Acharekar and Rajneel Kumar, since 2020 after he had an up-close experience of the harassment women face on the internet and traditional social media networks.

“My wife [media veteran Monisha Singh Katial] is a really accomplished media person and she started getting trolled on WhatsApp, somebody got her number from somewhere. Me and another friend of mine recommended that we should go to the police station. Now the reason she gave me was that ‘even if I report, what real action would be taken even if they find the person?” he added.

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Forty six-year-old Tarun Katial has been in the media and entertainment industry for over two decades. He has retained top executive positions in brands like Star India, Sony Entertainment and Reliance Broadcast Network.

Eve World became a reality in June 2021 as a first-of-its-kind women-only platform that aims to empower women to express their opinion, create content and form communities without worrying about the consequences.

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According to the National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Rekha Sharma, cases of online harassment grew nearly five fold in 2020. “While earlier, we would record 300 complaints of online harassment, this shot up to 1,500 post the COVID-19 pandmeic,” she said in January 2021.

In the USA, four in ten women admitted to have faced online harassment, according to a report published by Pew Research Center in January this year.

However, it does raise questions whether creating a separate space for women would further isolate them from the general public. Commenting on the same, Katial highlighted that this is why they went with the tagline “We can’t change the world for you, but we can create a better one for you.”

Pritam Baruah, Dean of School of Law at BML Munjal University, told Business Insider, “In the larger context, however, isolation will not be the lens through which they will be viewed. There is the freedom to form exclusive groups in the marketplace of platforms and each will serve its purpose and constituency."

Eve World is trying to build more than just social media

Eve World will use this capital to launch the platform in the January-March quarter of 2022. The company aims to launch worldwide, including countries like the US and UK, where female participation in the digital arena is higher. But it will start off with countries like India, Middle East and Indonesia, where the population is larger and the company believes that it can add some value by giving women their space.
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On the face of it, Eve World has been built on a creator partnership, something like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, where the people on the platform are running the show. But there is an additional layer of blockchain technology added to the platform, which will allow Eve World’s users to get rewarded for each action on the platform.

The reward can either be virtual tokens or points and can be used for a range of use cases — including consulting doctors and mental health professionals on the platform, shopping or even to buy non-fungible tokens (NFTs) at a discount on the platform. It will generate revenue by charging micro-entrepreneurs to promote their businesses.

Eve World will set up a two-way authentication to ensure only women are using the platform. Katial claimed that 70% of its workforce at Eve World are going to be women as they understand these issues much better.

The company has already raised capital from Singapore-based Jungle Ventures, one of the largest independent early and growth stage venture capital firms in Southeast Asia. The details of these transactions are undisclosed.

“What used to happen on the street till a decade ago, in urban India, has now moved to the internet, under the garb of anonymity… Women were losing their freedom to express themselves because of the kinds of gender bias, the kind of trolling, the kind of abuse that they are facing...Women on the internet face much more [consequences] than any man would on the same comment that gets posted,” Katial said.
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