Facebook is testing an anti-revenge porn measure that could actually work

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Credit: http://mashable.com/2016/03/09/facebook-lite-fastest-growing-app/

What would you do if you woke up to find nude pictures of yourself all over the social media? By then you are already minutes late from actually being able to do anything to get rid of them because millions of people already have them saved somewhere. Revenge porn is one of the biggest issues facing our society today. Your ex feels he needs to hit back at you for dumping him, and the only thing he could think of is to share your nude pictures on Facebook, Instagram or even Messenger.

Facebook has had enough of it, and is therefore teaming up with a small Australian Government agency, eSafety to bring an end to the sharing of nude pictures on its platform as well as its subsidiary companies without the consent of the owner. According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the social media giant is working on a pilot test for a larger program it hopes will be extended to other countries.

By collaborating with the eSafety office, victims of revenge porn could take back any image by storing it in a way that it will be difficult for anyone to upload it to Facebook, or Instagram or Messenger.

You will be able to take action to stop your nude pictures from being shared by anyone before the act is committed, said e-Safety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant.

We see many scenarios where maybe photos or videos were taken consensually at one point, but there was not any sort of consent to send the images or videos more broadly,” she added, per the ABC.

Here’s how it works:

If you have a feeling that your private photos will end up on Facebook or Messenger or Instagram, you can get in touch with the eSafety office from where you might then be asked to send the images to yourself on Messenger.

“It would be like sending yourself your image in email, but obviously this is a much safer, secure end-to-end way of sending the image without sending it through the ether,” Inman Grant said.

The whole idea of sending your private images to yourself is so that Facebook could “hash” them with its technology—and that would sort of create a digital fingerprint on them.

“They’re not storing the image, they’re storing the link and using artificial intelligence and other photo-matching technologies,” she said.

“So if somebody tried to upload that same image, which would have the same digital footprint or hash value, it will be prevented from being uploaded.”

So, even if a hacker or your ex decides to share your intimate pictures for one reason or the other, the photos will never show up on Facebook or any of its subsidiary platform like Messenger and Instagram.

Four countries including Australia are currently being used for the pilot test according to Facebook’s head of global safety, Antigone Davis. “The safety and wellbeing of the Facebook community is our top priority,” he said.

Last April, Facebook launched a set of tools to help fight against revenge porn. If all goes according to plan, we might be seeing a drastic reduction in the menace called revenge porn.


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Author: Ola Ric

Ola Ric is a professional tech writer. He has written and provided tons of published articles for professionals and private individuals. He is also a social commentator and analyst, with relevant experience in the use of social media services.

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