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Facebook Looks to Stop Revenge Porn, Asks Users to Mail Their Own Nude Pics to Themselves

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Facebook is piloting a new method to stop the spread of revenge porn. This new method requires users to send their own nudes to themselves through the company’s Messenger app. Once this is done, Facebook can then create a digital fingerprint of the picture, marking it as a non-consensual explicit image.

Facebook is first trying and testing the technology in Australia where it is partnering with a government agency led by e-safety commissioner, Julia Inman Grant. Regarding this step to stop “image based abuse,” Grant told ABC: “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.”

“It would be like sending yourself your image in email, but obviously this is a much safer, secure end-to-end way of sending the image without sending it through the ether,” Grant told ABC.

Once the image is sent through Messenger, Facebook would “hash” it, meaning that it would use technology to create a digital fingerprint or link.

“They’re not storing the image, they’re storing the link and using artificial intelligence and other photo-matching technologies. 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,” she explained.

Carrie Goldberg, a New York-based lawyer specializing in sexual privacy, told the Guardian: “We are delighted that Facebook is helping solve this problem – one faced not only by victims of actual revenge porn but also individuals with worries of imminently becoming victims. With its billions of users, Facebook is one place where many offenders aggress because they can maximize the harm by broadcasting the nonconsensual porn to those most close to the victim. So this is impactful.”

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