Facebook offers technology to combat revenge porn upload

Facebook to tackle revenge porn by offering nude photo upload matching service

Social media website Facebook is offering its submit your nude photo service trail

The problem of so called ‘revenge porn’ where intimate photos of someone are posted on online without their consent is being tackled on Facebook by trailing a service where people can submit their nude photos to Facebook and it creates a digital fingerprint of the photos that it will use to block anyone else being able to upload the same image.

The trial is starting in Australia which estimates that one in five women aged 18 – 45 have experienced some sort of revenge porn incident. The system works by allowing the person who is in the images upload them to the special Facebook service which then uses photo matching technology to create a digital fingerprint of the image which artificial intelligence can then use to look for the same image being upload by other users on the site and blocking the upload if it detect the image.

There will obviously be concerns from people about uploading these images to social media and I am sure Facebook have implemented safe guards to ensure that the images are securely transmitted and deleted once the finger printing has taken place, and that they are never manually reviewed. But like any electronic system it can never been guaranteed to be 100% secure.

The system relies on the potential victim having a copy of the photos to upload which may not always be the case if they sent the photos originally using a service such as Snapchat, or perhaps the photos were taken by an ex partner using their own camera.

There is also some doubt on how accurate the digital finger printing will be. Photo matching software can often be easily bypassed by altering the original image using software to make it look slightly different than the original making the filter useless against a determined person. The filter will also only work if the person uploading the revenge porn uses Facebook’s own photo hosting service as they could use one of the many 3rd party photo hosting website which won’t be checked by Facebook’s filter.

Another problem could arise from people abusing the system and uploading none nude photos in an attempt to stop them being posted on Facebook. An example of how this could be abused is that PR companies could be employed to upload photos of celebrities or politicians which don’t show them in a favourable way in an attempt to stop them being uploaded and shared by others.

It remains to be seen how effective this new service will be, it may reduce the amount of photos shared on Facebook but still doesn’t stop them being shared on other platforms away from that social media website.

 

 

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