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Send nudes to prevent revenge porn, says Facebook to its users

Facebook, the popular social media networking giant, is used by many culprits as a medium to intimidate and exact ‘revenge’ on people who have rebuffed them by posting their explicit nude pictures. In order to combat revenge porn, Facebook is testing a system which uses image recognition to identify revenge porn and automatically delete it. However, the technology will work only if users upload their images to its Messenger service first.
For those unaware, ‘revenge porn’ also known as non-consensual pornography is the sexually explicit portrayal of images or videos of a person posted on the Internet, typically by a former sexual partner, without their consent or knowledge. The possession of the material may be used by the perpetrators to blackmail the subjects into performing other sex acts, to force them into continuing the relationship, or to punish them for ending the relationship.
Facebook is running a pilot program in Australia in collaboration with Office of the eSafety Commissioner that allows the users to use its Messenger service to send dirty images in question to themselves to “hash it” or create a digital fingerprint of the image. It also blocks the leaking out of private pictures, as it will allow the victim to take action before their pictures are uploaded or shared privately on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. The technology will soon be tested across the UK, US and Canada.
“We see many scenarios where 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,” Australian e-Safety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant told ABC Australia.
“[The system] 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.
“They’re not storing the image, they’re storing the link and using artificial intelligence and other photo-matching technologies. So if somebody tried to upload that same image, which would have the same digital footprint or hash, it will be prevented from being uploaded.”
The idea is that the photo will never show up on Facebook, even if a hacker or jealous ex tries to upload it, as it has already been matched with the original hash.
Grant said that the purpose of the new scheme would be to “empower people to be able to protect themselves and take action” before unwanted material is posted online.
“[Facebook] came to the conclusion as one of the major technology companies in the world that this was the safest way for users to share the digital footprints,” she added.
Antigone Davis, Facebook Head of Global Safety, said that “the safety of users and well-being of the Facebook community is our top priority.” She further explained, “As part of our continued efforts to better detect and remove content that violates our community standards, we’re using image matching technology to prevent non-consensual intimate images from being shared on Facebook. These tools, developed in partnership with global safety experts, are one example of how we’re using new technology to keep people safe and prevent harm.”