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Facebook Expands Protection Against Revenge Porn Photos

It’s humiliating and devastating when someone’s intimate images are shared without their permission.

In a bid to tackle revenge porn, Facebook is asking users to send them their intimate photos to prevent non-consensual sharing. This move attempts to give some control back to victims of this type of abuse.

Facebook logos are pictured on the screens of a smartphone (R), and a laptop computer. Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images

People who have shared photos that are intimate, sexual or contain nudity with their partners and are worried that the partner or ex-partner might distribute or publish them without their consent can use Messanger to stop them from hitting the internet.

Facebook has a policy that allows people to report and remove an image after it has already been shared on Facebook, Instagram or Messenger. But instead of waiting, the company will allow users to upload an image before others see it.

The technology is being piloted by Facebook in Australia, US, UK and Canada. They are also partnering with safety organisations to make it easier for users to “proactively report” images. These organisations include the Australian Office of the eSafety Commissioner, YWCA Canada, the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative (US), the UK Revenge Porn Helpline and The National Network to End Domestic Violence (US).

Facebook users can contact their relevant local organisation and submit a form. They’ll then receive a one-time-use link to upload the image they are worried about.

Then, the image will be reviewed by “one of a handful of specifically trained members” of the Facebook’s Community Operations Safety Team who creates a unique “hash” for the image. This hash acts as a fingerprint for the image, allowing Facebook to identify anyone trying to upload the picture in the future, without storing the image on its servers.

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