Nov 7th, 2017

With cameras now becoming a ubiquitous part of our lives thanks to being embedded in nearly every single electronic device we use, it’s no surprise that nude photos can end up online without a person’s explicit permission. The term for this is revenge porn and it typically happens when nude photos that were once consensual are uploaded to social media sites without the subject being aware until it’s spotted by a close friend or colleague.

It’s a very real concern in today’s modern society, so it stands to reason that Facebook is doing something to try and prevent “revenge porn” from being uploaded to its various services like Instagram and Facebook Messenger. Facebook is partnering with an Australian government agency to test a new program to help prevent revenge porn from spreading.

The test program will allow users to upload their nudes and send them to themselves via Facebook Messenger, where Facebook will use its image algorithms to create a digital fingerprint of that image and prevent copies from being uploaded to the service. The idea is that by creating a digital fingerprint of the image as soon as it’s created, you can prevent it from being spread through social media sites as the algorithm matches the copy to the original.

“They’re not storing the image, they’re storing the link and using artificial intelligence and other photo-matching technologies. So if somebody tried to upload that same image, which would have the same digital footprint or hash value, it will be prevented from being uploaded.”

The technology isn’t all that different than Google’s own Content ID that it uses to find copyrighted videos and music that have been uploaded to YouTube so it can remove them automatically at the copyright holder’s request. Content ID is easily spoofed by slowing audio, so hopefully, Facebook has considered that when trying to use algorithms to prevent the spread of a specific image.

What do you think? Would you upload your nudes to Facebook to prevent them from being spread without your permission?

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