Facebook asks users for nude photos

Pablo Tucker
November 8, 2017

"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", Julie Inman Grant of eSafety commission told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Carrie Goldberg, a New York-based lawyer who specializes in sexual privacy, said: "We are delighted that Facebook is helping solve this problem - one faced not only by victims of actual revenge porn but also individuals with worries of imminently becoming victims".

Back in April, Facebook addressed revenge porn in the USA with a new photo-matching technology to ensure people can't re-share images previously reported and tagged as revenge porn.

The new tool is now being tested in four countries including Australia. The unorthodox strategy is expected to help Facebook create a digital fingerprint for such content and mark them as non-consensual explicit media. Facebook would then store the corresponding hash. Users can report images they see on the platform as revenge porn, which will lead to a similar hashing system being used to prevent those images being uploaded again.

Now the Facebook's new way to tackle revenge porn is going to be tested only in Australia although a Facebook spokesperson told the Guardian that it is exploring partnerships with other organisations in other countries to test something similar.

The Australian Office of the eSafety Commissioner announced they were partnering with the social media giant last week on a pilot scheme that will allow anyone to report sensitive images being shared online without their permission.

"Conceptually the idea has merit but it would work better if the user was provided a self-service tool to accomplish the task and upload the file up to a Facebook portal", One Identity EMEA director, Andrew Clarke told Infosecurity. The Commissioner's office will notify Facebook of the submission, before a community operations analyst accesses it and hashes it. If you fear that you're a potential victim, you can contact e-Safety who might ask you to send your pictures to yourself on Messenger. They will then tell you to send the nudes to yourself on Facebook, and will let Facebook know you've done this.

The photos are then processed so Facebook's photo and face-matching algorithms can identify the photos if someone else tries to post them, and then block them. The technology will soon be tested across the UK, US and Canada.

"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", said Facebook's head of global safety, Antigone Davis, in a statement.

"We have a great deal of comfort that they have chose the most secure route ... we want to empower people to be able to protect themselves and take action, we don't want to make them vulnerable".

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