More reports on: Social media

Facebook to fight revenge porn using specially trained professional reviewers

13 November 2017

In a bid to combat revenge porn, Facebook staff will look at nude photos of its users in an attempt to combat revenge porn.

The social network told its users in Australia to send photos that they are afraid might be circulated on the site. The images would then be viewed by Facebook's own staff to verify them, and if they were to be decided legitimate, will be banned from being shared on the site.

In a post aimed at clarifying the facts around the new initiative, Facebook made it clear that the images will only be seen by "a specially trained representative from our Community Operations team". It confirms however, that the images will be looked at by its own staff.

"We don't want Facebook to be a place where people fear their intimate images will be shared without their consent," the post, written by Facebook's global head of safety Antigone Davis, reads. "We're constantly working to prevent this kind of abuse and keep this content out of our community."

The post then lays out the details of the plan to stop the sharing of non-consensual intimate images, many of which were reported in the press.

According to commentators, the article, titled 'The Facts', appears to be an attempt to address some of the misconceptions around the story, though, it in fact confirms many of its most controversial details.

Facebook outlines the manner in which it will go about fighting revenge porn:

  • ''Australians can complete an online form on the eSafety Commissioner's official website.
  • To establish which image is of concern, people will be asked to send the image to themselves on Messenger.
  • The eSafety Commissioner's office notifies us of the submission (via their form). However, they do not have access to the actual image.
  • Once we receive this notification, a specially trained representative from our Community Operations team reviews and hashes the image, which creates a human-unreadable, numerical fingerprint of it.
  • We store the photo hash - not the photo - to prevent someone from uploading the photo in the future. If someone tries to upload the image to our platform, like all photos on Facebook, it is run through a database of these hashes and if it matches we do not allow it to be posted or shared.
  • Once we hash the photo, we notify the person who submitted the report via the secure email they provided to the eSafety Commissioner's office and ask them to delete the photo from the Messenger thread on their device. Once they delete the image from the thread, we will delete the image from our servers.''

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