Facebook: “Send us nude pictures of yourself to stop revenge porn.”

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Facebook has rolled out a new ‘safety’ feature, the first instance of which is in partnership with the government of Australia: you upload nude pictures of yourself to them, and, they say, it will help stop revenge porn. We see you checking the date of this article, and no, it’s not April 1st.

Here’s how it is supposed to work: If you have made the foolish mistake of either sending a naked picture of yourself to a partner, or of letting a partner take a nude photo of you, and now you and the partner have broken up and you fear they may post that picture on social media (i.e. ‘revenge porn’), then you basically pre-empt them by uploading the naked picture of yourself before they can post it.

By uploading it first, in theory Facebook will recognize it (by the image’s digital ‘hashed’ fingerprint) and not allow it to be uploaded again or displayed on Facebook, Facebook Messenger, or Instagram (which is owned by Facebook).

Facebook says that it does not retain the uploaded image itself, but just the hash. (However read below.)

In an article about the partnership published in Australia’s Financial Review, Facebook Head of Global Safety Antigone Davis explains “On Facebook non-consensual intimate images make up a small percentage of our overall reports, but we wanted to be an industry leader because of the devastating impact of these images.”

 
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Facebook: “Send us nude pictures of yourself to stop revenge porn.”

Adds Davis, “This has been a journey for us. Some of our initial forays into addressing this issue involved working with organisations like the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, and now we’re working on developing a place for people to report these images across all social media platforms.”

The specifics of the system include the user uploading the naked image to themselves via Facebook Messenger (it seems Facebook will do almost anything to get people to install Messenger), and then once Facebook hashes the image, the user is, and we quote, “encouraged to delete the intimate image from their Facebook Messenger.”

Why are they ‘encouraged to delete the image’ instead of Facebook automatically deleting it once they have hashed it and stored the hash? Your guess is as good as ours.

How can this go wrong? Let us count the ways:

1. Facebook doesn’t actually delete the image

2. The user doesn’t actually delete the image

3. The user accidentally sends the image to someone else instead of themselves.

4. The other person manipulates the copy of the image in their possession just enough to cause it to not match the hash on file with Facebook.

5. We’re sure that you can think of other “what could possibly go wrong” scenarios.


 

It should also be noted here that of course the other person can also upload the image to any non-Facebook social media property.

  
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Facebook: “Send us nude pictures of yourself to stop revenge porn.”

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Summary
Facebook: "Send us nude pictures of yourself to stop revenge porn."
Article Name
Facebook: "Send us nude pictures of yourself to stop revenge porn."
Description
Facebook has rolled out a new 'safety' feature, the first instance of which is in partnership with the government of Australia: you upload nude pictures of yourself to them, and, they say, it will help stop revenge porn. We see you checking the date of this article, and no, it's not April 1st.

2 thoughts on “Facebook: “Send us nude pictures of yourself to stop revenge porn.”

  1. LoL how absurd, we will keep nude pics of you so we can ‘strike first’. Do they know how that sounds? Who (in their right mind) would go for that?

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