facebook revenge porn policy feat
facebook revenge porn policy feat

The New Facebook Revenge Porn Policy in Four Words: ‘Send Us Yr N00ds’

Facebook keeps stepping in it. Hot off the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where Facebook gave 50 million users’ information to a Trump-aligned company during the 2016 election, there’s a new Facebook revenge porn policy.

While that sounds like a good thing — after all, revenge porn is insidious and abusive — its proposed solution has us scratching our heads. Facebook wants you to send in your nudes (and otherwise embarrassing photos) so it can preemptively block the images from being shared by others.

Facebook revenge porn policy 2

This new Facebook revenge porn policy works as follows: If you’re worried someone might spread your nude photos without your consent — or, truthfully, any embarrassing photo — you can request a form from one of Facebook’s safety partners, which include the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative and The National Network to End Domestic Violence in the United States. When you get the form, you submit it to Facebook.

At that point, Facebook will send you an email with a one-time upload link. You’ll use that link to upload any photos you fear might be shared against your will. From there, “one of a handful of specifically trained members of [Facebook’s] Community Operations Safety Team” will review the image and create a hash, or a unique ID for that particular image. Once the hash is created, the image is deleted from their servers. Then when anyone tries to upload an image that matches that hash, it will be blocked from Facebook, Instagram and Messenger.

While we appreciate the effort surrounding this Facebook revenge porn policy, we can see a few flaws with this plan. First, it assumes you still have copies of images that could be used in revenge porn. For example, if you send something via Snapchat and someone takes a screen capture — you may not have that image anymore, but they do. Likewise, when you change phones or computers, files can be lost in the process.

Another issue — nothing is deleted on the internet forever. Computer architecture, both online and locally, stores files in a number of locations. Even when you delete something, remnants remain. That’s what allows you to “undelete” files. While it is possible to completely scrub a file, it’s difficult. (And given the issues Facebook’s had, well, forever, do you trust it to go the extra mile?)

To be fair, however — there’s precedent for this type of solution. In 2015, a woman calling herself “Hilary” submitted her nude photos to the U.S. Copyright Office. Only 38 states currently have revenge porn laws, and the number was even lower — 17 states — in 2015. So, being denied help through traditional means, she was forced to sue her abusers for copyright infringement.

Read the Facebook revenge porn policy post below:

People shouldn’t be able to share intimate images to hurt others By Antigone Davis, Global Head of SafetyIt’s…

Posted by Facebook Safety on Tuesday, May 22, 2018

What do you think of the new Facebook revenge porn policy? Let us know in the comments!