Facebook is now assessing a new tool that’s designed to effectively help victims of revenge porn acts. The new protection system is still under testing in various parts of Australia, and the company hopes to expand it to the rest of the world if everything works out. The new technology works the same way as the anti-child-porn recognition tool that is normally used on Facebook, and many other social media giants such as Instagram, Twitter, and Google.
Basically it works on an inclusive database of file hashes, a certain cryptographic signature that’s computed for every single file. Facebook explains that when an abuser attempts to upload a photo that is marked “revenge porn” in its catalog, the system will automatically block the upload procedure. This will effectively work for photos shared precisely on Facebook’s main service. However, it will also work for photos shared privately through Facebook’s IM app, Messenger.
The weird part of it all is that for an individual to create a database of “revenge porn” images, Facebook will greatly rely on the strategy of the potential victims uploading the image earlier on. Basically, the procedure involves the victim virtually sending the “revenge porn” image to his account, through Messenger. This certainly means that uploading a copy or such images on Facebook Messenger, which is the same act that the victim is attempting to prevent.
The potential victim will then have to report the image to Facebook, which will instantly build a hash of the photo that the social network will actually utilize to block any further uploads of a similar image. This is very much probable since in April this year, Facebook amended its photo reporting procedure to take into consideration photos showing nude imagery acts. Facebook explains that it is not necessarily storing the image, but just computing the file hash and additionally adding it into its database of Facebook nude images.
Therefore, victims that fear that current or former partners may upload a “revenge porn” image online can pro-actively make an effort to block the photo from ever being shared or uploaded on Facebook.
In Australia, possible victims can easily call for help from the Australian Government’s e-Safety Commissioner via Facebook to get required assistance with the procedure. While speaking to Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), a Facebook salesclerk stated that Australia is actually one of the four different countries taking part in the test pilot program.
ABC recently discovered Facebook’s intended-secret test program while scrutinizing a high-profile revenge porn situation that occurred in Australia, where a certain Australian footballer uploaded and shared a Facebook nude images of a young woman, bearing his lately won championship medal on her undressed chest.
Google started a similar project way back in 2015 and it ended up with a similar trial project. Facebook is optimistic that their newly made tool will certainly work, and will effectively help them deal with the issue of “revenge porn” photos for good. The system will of course be opened to other countries soon after it is proven to work.
What do you guys think, will this work? I think there will be some people over at Facebook that will have a very interesting job