Facebook Explains Its Anti-Revenge Porn Plan

Recently, Facebook introduced a creepy sounding plan to stop spread of revenge porn on the platform. According to reports, you will need to send intimate images to yourself in order to prevent them from appearing on the social media. Understandably, users would be afraid of sending their images even to themselves. As a result, users raised their concerns regarding the process. And now, Facebook’s global head of safety, Antigone Davis has wrote a blog post explaining how the upcoming changes will work.

In the latest blog post, Davis wrote,

  • Australians can complete an online form on the eSafety Commissioner’s official website.
  • To establish which image is of concern, people will be asked to send the image to themselves on Messenger.
  • The eSafety Commissioner’s office notifies us of the submission (via their form). However, they do not have access to the actual image.
  • Once we receive this notification, a specially trained representative from our Community Operations team reviews and hashes the image, which creates a human-unreadable, numerical fingerprint of it.
  • We store the photo hash — not the photo — to prevent someone from uploading the photo in the future. If someone tries to upload the image to our platform, like all photos on Facebook, it is run through a database of these hashes and if it matches we do not allow it to be posted or shared.
  • Once we hash the photo, we notify the person who submitted the report via the secure email they provided to the eSafety Commissioner’s office and ask them to delete the photo from the Messenger thread on their device. Once they delete the image from the thread, we will delete the image from our servers.

Cindy Southworth, executive vice president and founder of the Safety Net Technology Project supported the idea. She wrote, “If you’ve never tried to end a relationship with an abusive, controlling, and violent partner, there is no way you’d understand the very real terror victims feel of how much damage an abuser can and will do by sharing intimate images. This voluntary option provides another tool to victims to prevent harm.”

With the latest approach, Facebook hopes that users’ intimate images don’t appear on internet as the process will give users an emergency option. As for now, we will have to wait to find out if the latest approach can prevent spread of images on the social media.

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