Facebook and Instagram’s parent company Meta just announced a huge initiative to combat revenge porn on the Internet.
Partnering with UK nonprofit group Revenge Porn Helpline, the system is pretty simple in theory though it could be somewhat complex in terms of getting buy-in from people that could be impacted.
That’s because it relies upon a database of submitted intimate images in order to identify those images being posted elsewhere. So, in other words, you have to show what you don’t want to be revealed in order to prevent others from seeing it.
“It’s a massive step forward…The key for me is about putting this control over content back into the hands of people directly affected by this issue so they are not just left at the whims of a perpetrator threatening to share it,” commented Sophie Mortimer of the helpline.
The hope is that other organizations will join the initiative over time thus making its reach more comprehensive and universal in scope.
And it is the organization’s neutral stance that Mortimer thinks will eventually win over social media platforms and others to join its database. It’s important for a neutral organization to “take the lead” in order to prevent perceptions of conflicts of interest, she argues.
“It’s important that Facebook and industry recognize that they can’t be at the front of this…A hash bank needs to be held independently in a neutral space, and we have a lot of public trust and long-standing track record of helping people affected by the sharing of intimate images without consent.”
Though it is currently only available in English, there are plans to eventually expand that functionality as well.
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