Facebook asks for nude photos from Australian users to combat 'revenge porn'

Lena Tucker
November 10, 2017

The feature is being tested in Australia first, and entails users uploading nude photos of themselves and designating them "non-consensual intimate images".

People concerned their nude pictures may be uploaded by an ex are being asked to send the images to Facebook so they can be blocked if they are posted in the future.

The identifier is used to block any further distribution on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger as a pre-emptive strike against revenge porn, a common method of abuse and exploitation online.

The new initiative is now being piloted in Australia in partnership with the Office of the eSafety Commissioner.

Then they need to message themselves their nude photos via Messenger and the e-safety commissioner's office will notify Facebook of their submission.

Four percent of internet users in the US have been victims of revenge porn and 10 percent of women under the age of 30 have had someone threaten to expose explicit photos of them online, according to a 2016 study by the research institute Data & Society.

"We would expect that Facebook has absolutely watertight systems to guard the privacy of victims".

Inman Grant, the e-Safety Commissioner, told ABC Australia that the images wouldn't be stored on Facebook's servers, just the digital print.

The company has said it will store the images for a short time before deleting them. It uses "cutting-edge" technology to prevent resharing of the images on its platforms, which includes Messenger and Instagram.

"This pilot has the potential to disable the control and power perpetrators hold over victims, particularly in cases of ex-partner retribution and sextortion, and the subsequent harm that could come to them", said Grant in a news release.

The US, UK and Canada are also participating in the pilot with Facebook. One suggestion is to hash the image locally and then upload the hash to determine a match.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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