Published: Fri, November 10, 2017
Research | By Derrick Holloway

'Send nudes': Facebook builds database to stop revenge porn


Facebook is asking some users to send nude photos of themselves in an effort to combat social media "revenge porn".

Once Facebook receive this notification, its community operations team will use image matching technology to prevent any instances of the image being uploaded or shared online.

Facebook is expected to test out the program soon in the United States, the UL and Canada.

"They're not storing the image".

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The social media platform is looking to create a digital fingerprints of nude pics you send to them through Messenger, and then auto block anyone from uploading the same images to the site later on.

Users will be asked to send the imagery to themselves on Messenger while the eSafety Commissioner's office notifies Facebook of their submission. "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".

Facebook is piloting the program in Australia in partnership with the country's Office of the eSafety Commissioner, a government agency dedicated to online safety.

Editors' Note: Adult Australians concerned that an intimate image may be shared online can complete an online form on the eSafety Commissioner's official website detailing their concerns.

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She explained: "Revenge porn is becoming such a huge epidemic among young people, it's absolutely frightful and if there's any way to tackle it then we should take that seriously".

Facebook Australia's plan to fight revenge porn seems a bit counterintuitive.

Facebook claims it won't store the images, but rather a "hash system" that would allow their algorithm to recognize similar pictures without holding them on their servers.

One in 25 Americans who use the internet have had sensitive images posted without their permission or have had someone threaten to do so, according to a study from the Data & Society Research Institute previous year.

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