Facebook launches new tools to stop 'revenge porn'

Facebook launches new tools to stop 'revenge porn'
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Facebook is rolling out new tools designed to combat the dissemination of “revenge porn” on its platform, it announced Wednesday.

The social media giant will use new photo-matching technology to beef up its efforts in keeping intimate images shared without consent off its network.

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Facebook will allow users to flag intimate images that appear to be shared without permission on the site. Flagged images will be reviewed by members of its content operations team to be removed if they find it to be in violation of Facebook’s community standards, and the account sharing the image will be reviewed for removal as well.

Facebook will also employ a photo-matching tool it’s developed to detect if users try to share that same image that’s been removed, and block them from doing so.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), who has led the fight in Congress to legislate against the dissemination of revenge porn, praised Facebook’s new tools.

“These new tools are a huge advancement in combatting non-consensual pornography and I applaud Facebook for their dedication in addressing this insidious issue, which impacts the lives of individuals and their loved ones across the country and around the world,” Speier said in statement.

Facebook had previously endorsed Speier’s bill addressing revenge porn.

The platform’s use as a mechanism for the spread of revenge porn came to light during a scandal earlier in the year, when it was revealed that Marines were sharing nude and invasive photos of women, including their colleagues, in a private Facebook group.

It’s not clear how much the tools will be able curb all abuses, though. The new features are reliant on users flagging inappropriate content, which might not happen in secret groups where only complicit parties can see the content, like in the case of the Marines group.

According to a release from the company, the tools came to fruition after Facebook consulted with the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the Center for Social Research and the Revenge Porn Helpline in the United Kingdom, among other organizations and experts. Facebook says it has been developing the tools over the past year.