Revenge Porn Facebook using technology to fight menace off its platform

Social network wants to help out victims of this type of pornographic content uploaded to its site.

  • Published:
Facebook is building an internal database of ''revenge porn'' to prevent repeat sharing. play

Facebook is building an internal database of ''revenge porn'' to prevent repeat sharing.

(Business Insider)
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

Facebook is working with an Australian government agency to pilot a technology that will help to combat revenge porn.

In a somewhat related story, the social network was reported to be cracking down on scam artists who put up deceptive ads that re-direct people to porn sites.

What is revenge porn?

Revenge porn is a situation where a bitter ex-girlfriend, ex-boyfriend or any other ex-partner decides to share with the internet nude pictures or videos of their former partners that was agreed not to be shared with a third party. The intent is usually to extort or humiliate them.

Chrissy Chambers is a victim of revenge porn which Facebook is trying to prevent on its site. play

Chrissy Chambers is a victim of revenge porn which Facebook is trying to prevent on its site.

(Cyberbullying Research Center)

 

How does Facebook intend to help out potential victims of revenge porn?

Facebook is asking users to send their nudes via Messenger, these messages are to be “hashed”. This means that the company converts the image into a unique digital fingerprint that can be used to identify and block any attempts to re-upload that same image.

The social network giants are piloting the technology in Australia,  partnering with an Australian government agency headed up by the e-safety commissioner, Julia Inman Grant, who told ABC it would allow victims of “image-based abuse” to take action before pictures were posted to Facebook, Instagram or Messenger.

Facebook is building an internal database of ''revenge porn'' to prevent repeat sharing. play

Facebook is building an internal database of ''revenge porn'' to prevent repeat sharing.

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

 

Why this is a big deal for Facebook?

Well, for starters, Facebook has a billion users, which is a family and friends oriented platform, so that makes it a good ground for a bitter ex to upload these photos and that could be very damaging for the victim.

Procedure for getting your nudes 'hashed'

In the Australian pilot, users must first complete an online form on the e-safety commissioner’s website outlining their concerns. They will then be asked to send the pictures they are concerned about to themselves on Messenger while the e-safety commissioner’s office notifies Facebook of their submission.

Once Facebook gets that notification, a community operations analyst will access the image and hash it to prevent future instances from being uploaded or shared.

ALSO READ: 5 tips to keep your nude photos off public eye

The photo-matching technology - ‘Hashing’ is also used by other technology companies to tackle other content types like child sex abuse and extremist imagery.

Facebook will store these images for a short period of time before deleting them to ensure it is enforcing the policy correctly, the company said.

It should be noted however that outside Facebook, such revenge porn content can stil get uploaded, so it requires other online platforms to emulate what Facebook is doing.

A Facebook spokeswoman said the company was exploring additional partners and countries.

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Nigeria?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +2349055172167, Social Media @pulsenigeria247: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng. More information here.