Facebook is asking for user's nude images to fight against revenge porn

Muriel Hammond
November 9, 2017

During the trial, those anxious about their images being posted as revenge porn have to contact Australia's e-Safety commissioner through an online form, which may then suggest providing them to Facebook.

Facebook wants to pre-emptively prevent revenge porn on its platform by gathering nude images and videos of its users, raising privacy concerns among its 2 billion users.

Social media giant Facebook has joined hands with an Australian government agency to fight "image-based abuse", commonly known as "revenge porn".

Now the Facebook's new way to tackle revenge porn is going to be tested only in Australia although a Facebook spokesperson told the Guardian that it is exploring partnerships with other organisations in other countries to test something similar.

Hopefully, advances in technology like the ones touted by Facebook and increased governmental awareness of the problem on a global scale will see instances of revenge porn reduce, thereby sparing hundreds of people the mental harm it can cause.

So how does allowing Facebook to see you naked prevent the rest of the world from seeing it?

Facebook will store these images for a short period of time before deleting them to ensure it is enforcing the policy correctly, the company said. Facebook knows that there will be many people concerned about how it handles such sensitive content, and I imagine they have put a good deal of thought into minimising the chances that anything goes wrong. Women aged between 18 and 24 are more likely to be the targets, it said.

The way it works is simple: You send yourself the image using Messenger, then Facebook converts it into an identifiable code, which it uses to block attempts to upload the same picture to any of its services.

It is important to note that 4% of US internet users have become victims of revenge porn, according to a 2016 study.

Furthermore, the system will only protect you from revenge porn on Facebook.

ABC News reports that the system is being trialled in Australia and three other countries. It's worth noting that Facebook already has mechanisms for reporting revenge porn without preemptively sending them the images. "Some information is more valuable for hackers, and hashed photos could be one of them".

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