The United Nations on Thursday launched a campaign against gender-based violence on the internet, complete with the symbol (b) which can be added to social media posts.

The symbol seeks to highlight that corporate logos and copyrighted Intellectual Property often receive greater protection online than people.

The UN population agency UNFPA's "bodyright" campaign said women, young people, ethnic minorities and the LGTB community had to be protected against online violence.

"Everyone has the right to live free of fear and violence -- both online and offline," UFNPA executive director Natalia Kanem said.

The "bodyright" symbol for the UNFPA campaign against digital violence The "bodyright" symbol for the UNFPA campaign against digital violence Photo: AFP / OLIVIER DOULIERY

"It's time for technology companies and policymakers to take digital violence seriously."

Eighty five percent of women globally have experienced or witnessed digital violence against other women, according to a poll by the Economist Intelligence Unit, and 38 percent have suffered it themselves.

UNFPA said online violence included cyberstalking, hate speech, doxxing -- publishing private information about an individual -- and non-consensual use of images and video such as deepfakes.

It said the symbol was a demand that "images of our bodies are given the same respect and protection online as copyright gives to music, film and even corporate logos."