Facebook has a solution to revenge porn: send them your nudes

"We want to do everything we can to help victims of this abuse.”
Getty Images

Facebook has invited users to submit pictures and videos of themselves — nude. The social network is trialing an anti–revenge porn program, launched Tuesday by Antigone Davis, Facebook’s global head of safety.

The program will be available in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, as well as Australia, where a pilot program has been running since before the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke earlier this year.

“It’s demeaning and devastating when someone’s intimate images are shared without their permission, and we want to do everything we can to help victims of this abuse,” Davis said.

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READ: YouTuber becomes first in U.K. to win civil damages in revenge porn case

To deliver the service, Facebook is partnering with an international working group of safety organizations, survivors and victim advocates including the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative and The National Network to End Domestic Violence in the U.S. and the U.K.’s Revenge Porn Helpline.

The idea of sending your most intimate images to Facebook, a company still reeling from a privacy scandal that saw the personal details of 87 million users misused, may be unappealing. But the company claims their system can not be compromised.

Here’s how it will work:

  • Anyone who fears an intimate image or video of them will be shared publicly on Facebook submits a form to one of the trusted partners.
  • The victim receives an email containing a secure, one-time upload link, through which they share the images they fear will be shared
  • A specially trained representative from Facebook’s Community Operations Safety Team reviews the report and creates a unique fingerprint, known as a hash, of each image.
  • The victim is notified via email and the images are deleted from Facebook’s servers, no later than seven days after they are sent.
  • The stored hashes will allow Facebook to block all future uploads of the offending image on Facebook, Instagram or Messenger.

The issue of revenge came to the fore once again last January in Northern Ireland when a family reached a settlement with Facebook after images of a 14-year-old girl were repeatedly shared on the platform.

“It now puts the onus on the provider to look at how they respond to indecent, abusive and other such images put on their platform,” the lawyer for the family, Pearse MacDermott, told reporters at the time. “Had these images been put in a newspaper or on TV, there would be serious repercussions.”

Cover image: Logo of Facebook in Warsaw on May 7, 2018. (Maciej Luczniewski/NurPhoto via Getty Images)