Facebook to use photo-matching to block repeat ‘revenge porn’

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By David Ingram

SAN FRANCISCO, April 5 (Reuters) – Facebook Inc is
adding tools on Wednesday to make it easier for users to report
so-called “revenge porn” and to automatically prevent the images
from being shared again once they have been banned, the company
said.

“Revenge porn” refers to the sharing of sexually explicit
images on the internet, without the consent of the people
depicted in the pictures, in order to extort or humiliate them.
The practice disproportionately affects women, who are sometimes
targeted by former partners.

Facebook has been sued in the United States and elsewhere by
people who said it should have done more to prevent the
practice. The company in 2015 made clear that images “shared in
revenge” were forbidden, and users have long had the ability to
report posts as violating the terms of service.

Beginning on Wednesday, users of the world’s largest social
network should see an option to report a picture as
inappropriate specifically because it is a “nude photo of me,”
Facebook said in a statement.

The company also said it was launching an automated process
to prevent the repeat sharing of banned images. Photo-matching
software will keep the pictures off the core Facebook network as
well as off its Instagram and Messenger services, it said.

Users who share “revenge porn” may see their accounts
disabled, the company said.

Facing criticism, the company last year met representatives
from more than 150 women’s safety organizations and decided it
needed to do more, Antigone Davis, global head of safety at
Facebook, said in a phone interview.

A specially trained group of Facebook employees will provide
human review of each reported image, Davis said.

The process to prevent repeat sharing requires Facebook to
retain the banned pictures in a database, although the images
are blurred and only a small number of employees have access to
the database, the company said.

Prosecutors and lawmakers have also sought ways to prevent
the spread of “revenge porn,” seeking additional penalties for a
practice that they said has ruined careers and families and even
led to suicide.
(Reporting by David Ingram; Editing by Andrew Hay)

Read the original article on Reuters. Copyright 2017. Follow Reuters on Twitter.

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