Facebook trialling system to combat revenge porn

Caption + Facebook is asking users to send the company their nude

It's done by first contacting the e-safety commissioner or regional equivalent (e-safety commissioner is an Australian position, and this test is being carried out in Australia), after which, you will then be advised to send the photo to yourself.

According to Tech Crunch, "The strategy entails uploading your nude photos or videos to Messenger in order to help Facebook tag it as non-consensual explicit media".

It seems Australians are having problems with #Revenge Porn, or to give it a more official title, "image-based abuse".

Julie Inman-Grant is the e-Safety commissioner in Australia, and she said that one in five Australian women aged 18-45 have been victims of revenge porn incidents, and the likelihood increases for indigenous Australians with one in four people reporting to have been affected.

In response to the revelations, Facebook introduced a feature that tagged pictures reported to it as revenge porn using photo-matching technology.

But can you trust Facebook?

Once the nude image is uploaded, Facebook will use technology to "hash it", which is essentially giving it a digital fingerprint. Facebook knows that there will be many people concerned about how it handles such sensitive content, and I imagine they have put a good deal of thought into minimising the chances that anything goes wrong.

Facebook then uses the photo-matching AI it's already been using when it automatically tags your face in images and the like.

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. The cryptographic signature, marked with a hash, will allow Facebook to identify inappropriate images without the need to store them on a database. Instead, the social media giant will only store the "hash" of your photo, not the actual photo itself.

Roughly 4% of United States internet users have been victims of revenge porn, according to a 2016 report from the Data & Society Research Institute.

Grant and Facebook, however, are very confident of Facebook's anti revenge porn tool.

Oddly enough, news of this new pilot program comes on the heels of Australian singer Sia taking a similar gambit to ward off greedy paparazzi. Anxious exes who fear their former partner is set on revenge porn will be urged to upload photographs of themselves nude.

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