Facebook has come up with a solution to tackle revenge porn that seems crazy and counter-intuitive at first but once you settle down you begin to see how it could work.
What is revenge pornography?
The posting of revealing or sexually explicit images or videos of a person on the Internet without their consent where people can share or download. This revenge porn is prevalent in Zimbabwe too, especially on WhatsApp in Zimbabwe. To be frank I think the H-Metro contributed to the problem. In Uganda they commissioned a porn detection machine to tackle the same problem.
The problem is a global one and Facebook has come up with a controversial plan. Their reasoning is that most times the victims of revenge porn know the perpetrators as these are usually former partners. Victims owing to hacking are much fewer.
When you know that someone, a former partner in this case, is in possession of revealing pictures of you and are not sure as to their intentions with those pictures Facebook would like to help.
Be proactive. Make a preemptive strike and upload those images to Messenger first. Facebook will then hash the images or videos giving them a digital footprint. Facebook, through its photo and face matching algorithms and AI-based technologies will be on the look out for those images, preventing their upload or sharing in the future.
In simpler terms, you give Facebook a media file and you say please prevent anyone from ever posting or sharing this file on your platform in the future.
So as mentioned you will only be required to upload the images to Messenger and not post them on your wall as that would be stupidly counter-intuitive.
Facebook is testing the defense strategy in Australia in collaboration with the Australian government.
Facebook assures us that they will not be storing the image but just the link as they are using a hashing system. However as the strategy is still in testing, it could be easy to trick the system and you would have shot yourself in the foot if the hacker released the images to the public.
Even when the strategy is out of testing and is released to everyone globally there is no guarantee that the system won’t be hacked. We have seen machine vision systems hacked before using various methods.
Even if no one is able to hack the system to get your stored links and images, someone in possession of your nudes (that former partner) might still be able to upload the images to Facebook. There are digital manipulations that can be done to make the machine think it’s a different image to what it is.
Personally I would not want any of my nudes online, in Facebook’s hands or not.