Facebook wants your nude photos to fight '˜revenge porn'

Thursday, 24th May 2018, 10:17 am
Updated Thursday, 24th May 2018, 11:22 am

Facebook is urging users to send the company their nude photos to combat so-called 'revenge porn'.

The social networking site will store a "fingerprint" of images to prevent any copies of them being shared by disgruntled ex-lovers.

Site experts will give each snap a unique code '” stopping it ever being uploaded again by a vengeful ex.

Facebook says it will wipe images from its servers after seven days.

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Open to UK users

Following a trial last year in Australia, the pilot scheme is now being rolled out to the UK, the USA and Canada.

In the UK, it will be run with the aid of the Revenge Porn Helpline.

Recent research found people were falling prey to abusive behaviour on a "mass scale", and that both sexes were equally likely to be targeted.

Adults who have shared nude or sexually explicit photos with someone online, and who are worried about unauthorised distribution, can report images to the Revenge Porn Helpline, who will in turn share it with Facebook.

They then securely send the photos to themselves via Messenger - a process that allows Facebook to "hash" them, creating a unique digital fingerprint.

This identifier is then used to block any further distribution on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger as a pre-emptive strike against revenge porn.

"We're using image-matching technology to prevent non-consensual intimate images from being shared," said Antigone Davis, Facebook's head of global safety.

Innovative experiment

Ahead of the pilot, Prof Clare McGlynn, an expert from Durham Law School, described it as "an innovative experiment".

"I welcome Facebook taking steps to tackle this issue, as it has often been very slow to act in the past," she told the BBC.

"However, this approach is only ever going to work for a few people and when we think of the vast number of nudes taken and shared each day, this clearly isn't a solution."