Facebook wants your nude photos to combat revenge porn

The social media giant is on a mission to protect sexual privacy

(Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Facebook has a new way to try and combat revenge porn: send them your nude photos.

It’s not quite as strange as it sounds. Facebook has a new system, which will be piloted in Australia, where intimate photos can be “hashed,” given a unique digital fingerprint so that images with that fingerprint can’t be re-uploaded. All users have to do is send the photos through Facebook’s Messenger.

–Ex-staffers indicted for sharing nude footage of congresswoman–

“We are delighted that Facebook is helping solve this problem – one faced not only by victims of actual revenge porn but also individuals with worries of imminently becoming victims,” said Carrie Goldberg, a New York-based lawyer specializing in sexual privacy. “With its billions of users, Facebook is one place where many offenders aggress because they can maximize the harm by broadcasting the nonconsensual porn to those most close to the victim. So this is impactful.”

Right now, the “hashing” system is limited only to Facebook, but it could grow beyond that, and should, according to Hany Farid, a professor of computer science at Dartmouth who helped develop PhotoDNA.

“The deployment of this technology would not prevent someone from sharing images outside of the Facebook ecosystem, so we should encourage all online platforms to participate in this program, as we do with PhotoDNA,” he said.