Facebook wants your nude photos to fight revenge porn

Cesar Mills
November 9, 2017

According to Australia's eSafety Commission, if you're concerned that your intimate photos may end up on Instagram or Facebook, you will be asked to send your own nude photos to yourself in a Facebook message. Once this is done, Facebook can then create a digital fingerprint of the picture, marking it as a non-consensual explicit image.

If someone fears that they are at risk of revenge porn, then they need to contact the office of the Australian government's e-Safety Commissioner.

According to the e-Safety Commissioner, one in five women between 18-45 and one in four Indigenous Australians are victims of revenge porn.

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.

Facebook's software would create a "hash" - a digital fingerprint of the photo - so it can be recognised the next time it is uploaded and automatically blocked.

Others, however, have expressed serious concerns about the amount of trust the system requires users to put in Facebook.

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"The likelihood of Facebook being compromised is slim of course, but if the user was tricked into sending them to a third party - that could open them up for further abuse", he told Infosecurity.

Facebook, Twitter and other sites have been using similar hashing technology to identify images containing child abuse or extremist content for several years. "Some information is more valuable for hackers, and hashed photos could be one of them".

Back in May, Facebook announced it was hiring thousands of new employees who will be specifically tasked with monitoring and removing flagged posts.

There are laws against revenge porn, but the scourge is hard to fight against in practical terms. If you're fortunate enough to not know, revenge porn involves spreading someone's embarrassing nude photos without their consent, whether it's an ex-lover or a celebrity with poor iCloud security.

For Facebook, revenge porn is a big issue. Should someone attempt to upload that same nude image, with the same digital footprint, Facebook's technology would prevent that from happening. "We look forward to getting feedback and learning".

Other reports by GizPress

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