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Facebook 'remembers' nude images to combat revenge porn

Facebook 'remembers' nude images to combat revenge porn

Facebook is testing a system that allows users to message themselves their nude photos in an effort to combat so-called revenge porn.

It will store a “fingerprint” of images to prevent any copies of them being shared by disgruntled ex-lovers.

The trial is in Australia, where studies suggest one in five women aged 18-45 may have had image-based abuse.

But one expert says there will still be problems outside Facebook and related sites such as WhatsApp and Instagram.

Facebook said it looked forward “to getting feedback and learning” from the trial.

Revenge porn is a growing issue in Australia, according to e-safety commissioner Julie Inman Grant, who is working with Facebook on the trial.

“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 told ABC News.

‘Innovative’

She sought to reassure potential victims who might be concerned about proactively sending themselves intimate photos.

“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,” she said.

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

Users wanting to take part in the trial must first file a report with the commissioner, who will in turn share it with Facebook.

Prof Clare McGlynn, an expert from Durham Law School, described it as “an innovative experiment”.

“I welcome Facebook taking steps to tackle this issue, as it has often been very slow to act in the past. However, this approach is only ever going to work for a few people and when we think of the vast number of nudes taken and shared each day, this clearly isn’t a solution,” she told the BBC.

Graham Cluley, a security consultant, said that security would be the priority.

“Facebook knows that there will be many people concerned about how it handles such sensitive content, and I imagine they have put a good deal of thought into minimising the chances that anything goes wrong.”

In March, Facebook was embroiled in a scandal when it emerged that a 30,000-strong private members group, Marine United, was routinely sharing images of nude women.

The group – made up of US marines – shared photographs of naked and semi-naked female colleagues.

In response to the revelations, Facebook introduced a feature that tagged pictures reported to it as revenge porn using photo-matching technology. It used this to prevent the image spreading and closed down the majority of accounts reported to it as hosting such images.

Published at Wed, 08 Nov 2017 11:17:46 +0000

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