Facebook’s Odd New Feature Might Make ‘Revenge Porn’ a Thing of the Past

Share on Facebook

Revenge porn is a truly low form of privacy-breaching exploitation. This non-consensual nude photo sharing usually involves someone’s ex-significant other or sexual partner posting a private nude photo of the other person online in order to get back at them.

Facebook has a new idea on how to fight revenge porn, and the plan involves potential victims uploading nude photos of themselves to Facebook in advance.

If someone thinks that their nude photos may be shared without their consent at a later date, they can upload those specific photos to Facebook Messenger. They send the photo as a message to themselves on Facebook Messenger and then report that photo to Facebook as inappropriate and “Revenge Porn.”

It stores this fingerprint in a database and flags it as revenge porn. Each time someone uploads an image to Facebook, the website checks the hash of that new image against inappropriate image hashes stored in its database. If someone tries to upload an image with the same fingerprint as an image flagged as revenge porn, they cannot upload it to any Facebook group, Facebook page, or group message.

This has already been used by sites like Google, Facebook, and Instagram to block and flag things like child pornography. The difference here is that users would be uploading their own photos preemptively before other people post them exploitatively.

This is fascinating, but we have questions. How does a person know that they’re going to be a potential victim of revenge porn? And how do they know which of their specific pictures will be exploited?

Or (for the love of all that’s sacred) what if they accidentally post them as their status? If these photos somehow get into the wrong paws, it could lead to a much bigger issue.

There are horrible people out there who non-consensually share nude photos of their exes with the friends and families of the victims as well as the general public. They need to be stopped. Does anyone have a better strategy? Hint: it can’t involve shaming people into not taking nude photos in the first place. Let us know how you feel about this in the comments.