Facebook Combats "Revenge Porn" With New Algorithm

Gwen Vasquez
November 10, 2017

The social media network, Facebook, is combating "revenge porn" in a very unique way in Australia. If the program works, it would mean that same naked picture will never show up on Facebook, even if a hacker or an ex tries to upload it.

"We must redouble efforts to challenge the root causes - challenging those who share images without consent", she said.

"These tools, developed in partnership with global safety experts, are one example of how we're using new technology to keep people safe and prevent harm", said Antigone Davis, Facebook's head of global safety, in a statement. When uploading content to Facebook or any other site, there is always a fear that the content could be used to harass or bully the original uploader.

Facebook claims it won't store the images, but rather a "hash system" that would allow their algorithm to recognize similar pictures without holding them on their servers.

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Prof Clare McGlynn, from Durham Law School, said that the United Kingdom should establish a similar organisation to Australia's e-safety commission.

In the pilot scheme, users complete an online form outlining their concerns on the e-safety commissioner's website - and it notifies Facebook of the situation. Facebook, in their April announcement of the program, called the employees "specially trained representatives from our Community Operations team". The program will be tested in Australia first, followed by the U.S., U.K., and Canada, the Times of London reported.

A spokesperson states in order for a photo to qualify as revenge porn an employee of Facebook must view the image first for themselves.

On the other hand, eSafety commissioner Julie Inman Grant told AFP, "It removes control and power from the perpetrator who is ostensibly trying to amplify the humiliation of the victim amongst friends, family and colleagues".

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