Facebook wants nude photos from Australian users - for a good reason

Facebook requests nude photos from users in a bid to tackle revenge porn

Facebook asks for users' nude photos so it can block revenge porn later on

Facebook is testing a system that allows users to message themselves their nude photos in an effort to combat so-called revenge porn.

According to Australia's eSafety office, 1 in 5 Australians has faced image-based abuse, where an intimate photo has been posted to social media without their consent.

To make use of the feature, a Facebook user has to fill out a brief form, then begin a Facebook Messenger conversation with themself, send the photo in the conversation, and flag it.

"This partnership gives Australians a unique opportunity to proactively inoculate themselves from future image-based abuse by coming to our portal and reporting tool", said Julie Inman Grant, Australia's eSafety Commissioner, in a statement. There's no word yet on how long the trial may run.

"They're not storing the image, they're storing the link and using artificial intelligence and other photo-matching technologies", the commissioner said.

"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", she claimed.

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However, Facebook implemented new photo-matching technology in April to help address the problem in the U.S., Tech Crunch reported.

The way Facebook explains it, any attempts to upload your explicit photos will be thwarted when the hacker or your ex-paramour tries to put the same image online because Facebook will have an "image" with which to compare the nude upload.

The strategy, now in Australia, is to have individuals upload their own naked photos into the messenger app so Facebook can tag it as non-consensual explicit media.

Australia is one of the four countries included in this "industry-first" pilot that relies on "cutting-edge" technology to prevent revenge porn. If your nude photo ends up on Facebook where anyone can see and grab it, even if law enforcement catches the person responsible, the damage will continue. Roughly four percent of US internet users have been victims of revenge porn, according to a 2016 Data & Society Research Institute report. Facebook will then prevent that particular photo from being shared.

Grant and Facebook, however, are very confident of Facebook's anti revenge porn tool.

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