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Facebook tests ways to combat revenge porn

Don’t want that nude snap popping up later on social media? Send it to yourself.

At least that is what Facebook and the Australian government is saying to do in a new test aimed at cutting off potential revenge porn before it happens. The social media empire and the small eSafety agency rigged a way to prevent people from uploading nudes in the first place, according to the Australian Broadcasting Company.

Here is how it works: Australians can contact the eSafety Commissioner. The eSafety agency may then tell the person to send the image to themselves through Facebook Messenger. Once the image is sent, Facebook can use technology to “hash” it, which means Facebook creates a traceable digital fingerprint or link.

Facebook won’t store the image, just the digital fingerprint.

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“They’re not storing the image, they’re storing the link and using artificial intelligence and other photo-matching technologies,” Julie Inman Grant, the Australian eSafety Commissioner, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “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.”

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Facebook can use technology to “hash” nude images, which means Facebook creates a traceable digital fingerprint or link. If someone tries to later upload the same image to the social media site, Facebook will recognize the fingerprint and stop them.

(Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Australia is one of four countries participating in the Facebook pilot program, Antigone Davis, Facebook’s head of global security told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Individuals who want to take part in the trial must first file a report with the commissioner.

The solution comes at a key time for the country. Last month, Australian Football League player, Nathan Broad, was suspended for three games after the photo he received of a topless girl went viral. “Image-based abuse” is common in the country. One in five Australians aged 16-49 have experienced image-based abuse but women aged 18-24 are more often targeted, the eSafety website said.

However, the trial won’t completely solve Australia’s revenge porn woes, Clare McGlynn, an expert from Durham Law School, told BBC.

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“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,” McGlynn said.  

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facebook
revenge porn
australia

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