Facebook trialling system to combat revenge porn

Janie Parker
November 9, 2017

Facebook is trialling a system to prevent revenge porn by asking users to send in naked images and videos of themselves.

Australia is one of four countries taking part in this pilot project, Facebook's head of global security, Antigone Davis told ABC. This new method requires users to send their own nudes to themselves through the company's Messenger app. The social media platform will then create a unique "digital fingerprint" of the intimate image in an effort to stop any copies of those images from being uploaded to either Facebook or Instagram by either a disgruntled lover or a hacker.

Pirates can manipulate the timing of a video to throw Big G's crawlers off their game, and there's nothing to say that voyeurs won't distort images in a similar way - by applying a filter, for example - to fool Facebook's engine. 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.

From that point, any attempts to upload or share the same image will be blocked, the Guardian reports.

As per a report in the Australia Broadcasting Corp, it is partnering with an Australian government agency to prevent such image-based abuses.

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Julie Inman Grant, Australia's e-Safety commissioner, said Facebook would not permanently store the images, only their digital fingerprints, which are capable of blocking further attempts to upload the pictures but can not be decoded to produce the images themselves. What's more, images will be blurred and stored by Facebook and "available to a small number of people", according to the Daily Beast. "My specialty is digital forensics and I literally recover deleted images from computer systems all day - off disk and out of system memory".

The company believes the best way to combat revenge porn could be to post intimate pictures of yourself online before anyone else manages to.

While giving users the power to get ahead of abusers by preemptively uploading any media they don't want shared online isn't inherently bad, requiring a stranger to look at the uncensored content leaves a lot of room for improvement.

"Publication on Facebook is often the most devastating platform for the victims-they have their friends, family, work colleagues all gathered in one place for maximum humiliation by publication", Alexandra Whiston-Dew, a private client lawyer at British law firm Mishcon de Reya, said in a statement shared with Newsweek.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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