Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Facebook Launching New Program To Combat Revenge Porn

            Facebook has your back. Count on it. And your front, too.
Apparently overcome with righteous indignation, the social media giant is launching an intrepid attempt to combat revenge porn. It’s strategy? The company wants users to cut out the middle man and send their explicit photos directly to Facebook.
                Seriously. The social network is testing a new feature in Australia, and, according to the Australian Broadcasting Network, users are being asked to upload explicit pictures of themselves before they send them to anyone else. Before a potential abuser has the chance to spread them around. A person would do this by starting a conversation with themselves and flagging the accompanying photo as a “non-consensual intimate image.” Facebook could then build a “hash” of the image, creating a unique fingerprint for the file. If and when another user tries to upload the same image on Facebook (or Instagram), the company will test it against its stored hashes, and stop those labeled “non-consensual intimate image” from being distributed. Facebook claims it will not save the pictures, just the hashes.
                Theoretically, this preemptive revenge porn blocker might work as advertised, but it requires a lot of trust- or perhaps naiveté- on the part of the potential victim.
                The whole premise sounds like a Monty Python sketch to me. I can just hear a Facebook spokesperson selling the idea and saying: “And, the naughtier the photos you send us, the more effective our hashes will be!”

                In any case, Aussies, it’s clear Facebook wants to see what you look like “Down Under.” 

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