Facebook is asking for nude photos, but the reason isn’t for what you think.
The social media site is using a new strategy to combat revenge porn, by asking its users to report the explicit images before a wrongdoer has a chance to distribute the pictures without consent.
To use the test program, individuals will be required to fill out an online form with Australia’s e-Safety office, detailing their predicament. Users will then need to upload nude pictures on Facebook Messenger – by starting a conversation with themselves – followed by flagging it “non-consensual intimate image.”
It will then digitally “hash” the pictures, giving them a unique digital fingerprint. These will be used to identify and block any uploads of same image, but they will not be stored.
The pilot program will be tested in Australia, in partnership with a small government agency led by e-safety commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reports.
Inman Grant says victims of “image-based abuse” will be able to take the power back into their own hands by using this new technology.
“We see many scenarios where maybe photos or videos were taken consensually at one point, but there was not any sort of consent to send the images or videos more broadly,” she said.
Due to a rise in revenge porn, it’s become the norm for users to be concerned over what they share online or send to a second party.
A 2016 study published by the Data & Society Research Institute, 47 per cent of Americans have faced online harassment, with one in 25 residents either threatened with or victims of non-consensual image sharing.
This isn’t the first time Facebook has made efforts to eliminate revenge porn. In April 2016, the social network established a strategy to remove images already online.
If an individual reports a picture as revenge porn on Facebook, the site’s moderators will tag the image using photo-matching technology in order to prevent it from spreading.
For some users who may be skeptical of Facebook’s new feature, Inman Grant puts those fears to rest.
“They’re not storing the image, they’re storing the link and using artificial intelligence and other photo-matching technologies,” Inman Grant said. “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.”
Do you think Facebook’s strategy will deter revenge porn?