Facebook to fight revenge porn with photo-matching

by Fredrick Graves April 7, 2017, 2:24
Facebook to fight revenge porn with photo-matching

Facebook is cracking down on so-called "revenge porn" by bringing in tools to make images easier to report and to prevent them being shared. The feature is being used across Facebook, Instagram and Messenger and is meant to clamp down on images being re-shared once they have been flagged as being shared without permission.

Antigone Davis, head of global safety at Facebook, told NBC News the focus is on the "unique harm" endured by victims who have their privacy violated by the spread of these images.

In many cases they will also disable the offending account for sharing intimate images without permission.

The network will also use photo-matching technologies to help thwart further attempts to share the image on Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram.

Intimate photos are meant to stay private, unless someone has given explicit permission to share it. 17% of lesbian, gay or bisexual individuals have been affected by the non-consensual sharing of intimate photos online, compared to just 2% of heterosexuals.

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The company recently told a German court that it can react to reports of misuse, but the sheer size of the Facebook user base makes it hard to be more proactive. Facebook says it will offer an appeal process should someone believe an image was incorrectly removed.

"Without anonymity a victim testifying in court faces their name and details being reported in the press, which can discourage them from coming forward as it could lead to the images or videos being shared more widely".

Facebook has already carefully defined parameters about nudity on the site, removing photos "of people displaying genitals or focusing in on fully exposed buttocks", according to its community standards.

For its tools against revenge porn, Facebook worked with the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative and other companies. A guide to reporting on Facebook can be found here. These users will be immediately alerted that the picture they are trying to share violates Facebook's policies. The company revealed that it'll use a variety of measures to put a stop to revenge porn across its online properties, including Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram.

It stated that Facebook also partners with safety organizations to offer support and resources to the victims. Zuckerberg said in his letter that Facebook has succeeded in making the world more connected, and now the company wants to work on building a better global community.


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