Facebook Wants Users To Send Their Nude Photos & The Reason Why Is Confusing

8 November 2017, 12:15

facebook nude photos
James Wilson-Taylor

By James Wilson-Taylor

The social network is trialling new technology that could stop the spread of unwanted naked photos shared by ex-partners.

Facebook has begun trialling a pretty interesting new way of combatting "revenge porn" online - getting users to send them their nude photos.

The Guardian reports that the social networking site has begun experimenting with new technology in Australia that allows you to upload a naked photo of yourself that then acts as a "digital fingerprint". So, if you were worried that an ex is going to upload a nude selfie you sent them, you can upload the photo into messenger to be 'hashed', preventing anyone else from uploading the same image to Facebook, Messenger or Instagram.

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But how exactly does it all work? Firstly, users complete an online form on the e-safety commissioner’s website before they are asked to send the pictures they are concerned about in a note to themselves using Messenger. The e-safety commissioner’s office then notifies Facebook and a community operations analyst accesses the image and 'hashes' it, blocking any future uploads to the site.

But the big question we are obviously all wondering is this - does Facebook hang on to the nude photos? Well, the company stated that they "will store these images for a short period of time before deleting them to ensure it is enforcing the policy correctly". Sounds legit although we are sure there will still be many people who feel wary about uploading nude pics to the site, even if it is in private and for an important reason such as this. Surely there is quite a few ways this could go wrong? Time will tell...

Julia Inman Gran, an e-safety comissioner for the Australian government, spoke to ABC about the initiative:

"We see many scenarios where maybe photos or videos were taken consensually at one point, but there was not any sort of consent to send the images or videos more broadly".

Currently this is just a trial in Australia but if successful could be implemented elsewhere. According to the Data & Society Research Institute, around 4% of US internet users have been victims of revenge porn so it is good to see a company as big as Facebook attempting to combat the problem.

What do you guys think? Is this an effective way to tackle the issue of Revenge Porn? Let us know your thoughts over in the Facebook comments.