Facebook wants your nudes to fight spread of revenge porn

Victor Barreiro Jr.
Facebook wants your nudes to fight spread of revenge porn
Submitted nudes are given a digital fingerprint that allows for automatic identification and blocking of potential future uploads on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger

MANILA, Philippines – Here’s a novel idea: What if you could stop revenge pornography of yourself from spreading by sending your nude photograph to Facebook? 

It’s not a stretch of the imagination now, as Facebook is pilot testing this kind of technology in Australia in partnership with the office of the Australian e-safety commissioner, Julie Inman-Grant.

The Guardian reported Tuesday, November 7 (November 8, Manila time), that individuals who have shared intimate, nude, or sexual images with someone and are worried about it spreading can use Facebook’s Messenger service to alert Facebook by sending that same image for “hashing.”

Hashed images are essentially given a digital fingerprint, preventing the spread of the photo on the social network by identifying and blocking attempts to upload that image again onto Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. 

Facebook in April said it was using photo-matching technology to prevent the spread of revenge porn, and this pilot test will likely improve their ability to stop revenge porn from happening on the service.

In Australia’s pilot test of the technology, users must first complete an online form on the e-safety commissioner’s website explaining what’s happened. They will be prompted to send the pictures they are concerned about to themselves on Messenger; meanwhile, the e-safety commissioner’s office tells Facebook of the submission.

Upon notification, an analyst will access the image and perform the hashing to prevent the spread of that image via uploading or sharing.

The images will be stored for a short time before they are deleted to ensure enforcement of the policy, Facebook added.

Further information and resources on Australia’s fight against revenge pornography and other forms of image-based abuse can be found here. – Rappler.com

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Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.