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Facebook expands controversial revenge porn prevention to more countries

You still have to be comfortable sharing nudes with specialists, though.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
May 23, 2018
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Tero Vesalainen via Getty Images

Facebook's experimental tool for fighting revenge porn is now available beyond Australian borders. The social network is now testing its "proactive reporting"system in the US, UK and Canada, giving people a way to prevent harassment and humiliation before it starts. As before, though, it requires placing a significant amount of trust in Facebook.

You first have to contact one of Facebook's partners in the program (the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative or National Network to End Domestic Violence in the US, the Revenge Porn Helpline in the UK and YWCA Canada) to submit a form. After that, you get a one-time upload link to send the pictures you think have been or will be shared as revenge porn. "Specifically trained" safety team members then review the report and create a digital fingerprint that lets Facebook identify future attempted uploads without having to hold on to the photos themselves. It promises to delete the relevant images from its servers within a week.

Facebook hasn't said whether or not it will expand the test or launch a full-fledged service.

This is bound to raise concerns about the potential for abuse, just as Facebook staffers have been accused in the past of using their power to stalk women. The company was adamant that this was "one step" that could prevent people from sharing nudes without consent. It won't be surprising if Facebook adds more methods beyond those already in place.

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