In an effort to fight revenge porn, Facebook announced a new pilot program to encourage us to upload photos that we suspect may be out in the public. They will take those photos that are uploaded to fingerprint them and use technology to identify photos that are then uploaded by others. This pilot program is starting in Australia, Canada, the UK and US, expands on their existing tools for people to report that type of content.
Once identified, the photos from uploads are being fingerprinted or “hashed”, which will prevent the photos from being uploaded on their network (Instagram, Facebook, and Messenger). According to the Facebook post, this week they are testing a “proactive reporting tool in partnership with an international working group of safety organizations, survivors, and victim advocates, including the Australian Office of the eSafety Commissioner, the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative and The National Network to End Domestic Violence in the US, the UK Revenge Porn Helpline, and YWCA Canada.”
More from Facebook about the new process:
- Anyone who fears an intimate image of them may be publicly can contact one of our partners to submit a form
- After submitting the form, the victim receives an email containing a secure, one-time upload link
- The victim can use the link to upload images they fear will be shared
- One of a handful of specifically trained members of our Community Operations Safety Team will review the report and create a unique fingerprint, or hash, that allows us to identify future uploads of the images without keeping copies of them on our servers
- Once we create these hashes, we notify the victim via email and delete the images from our servers – no later than seven days
- We store the hashes so any time someone tries to upload an image with the same fingerprint, we can block it from appearing on Facebook, Instagram or Messenger.”
We certainly have the technology nowadays to identify images and photos that are being used in revenge porn–and Facebook has taken a very important step here. I really hope that other sites take this lead and do what they can to fight this worldwide problem.
Wouldn’t it be great if this technology and reporting tool was built into our smart phones, such as being built into iOS and Android?