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Facebook says it needs your explicit photos to combat revenge porn

09 November, 2017, 20:03 | Author: Nadine Todd
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The company aims to tackle revenge porn by inviting users to send it compromising photos so they can be permanently blocked from the sites it operates.

Facebook is involved in a groundbreaking scheme to stop revenge porn before it happens, by "blocking" nudes which a disgruntled ex might upload.

Facebook is trying to fight revenge porn by encouraging users in Australia to submit their nude photos to prevent them from being shared without their consent.

In a trial in Australia, Facebook asked people anxious that their intimate pictures might be posted by an ex partner to provide the images to Facebook, so that it knows to prevent them being uploaded in future.

They would then securely send the photos to themselves via Messenger, a process that allows Facebook to "hash" them, creating a unique digital fingerprint.

Earlier this year, for example, Facebook shut down a private group called Marines United, in which more than 30,000 members, many of them active-duty Marines, solicited and shared nude photos of their female colleagues.

Revenge porn is a growing issue in Australia where studies suggest that one in five women aged 18-45 may have been victims.

The difference is for that the work, the photo needed to already be uploaded to Facebook.

According to the Australian government, the pilot would provide a portal for people concerned that an intimate image may be shared online to report it. Australia, one of the countries in the pilot, said that the reports would then go to an eSafety Commissioner who then notifies Facebook "to prevent any instances of the image being uploaded after the notification has been actioned".

Facebook's customer support team will then review a blurred version of the image to ensure that it is explicit, and then "hash" it before it is deleted.

"This pilot has the potential to disable the control and power perpetrators hold over victims, particularly in cases of ex-partner retribution and sextortion, and the subsequent harm that could come to them", said Inman Grant.

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