Facebook has announced new tools to help people when intimate images are shared on Facebook without their permission. When this content, often referred to as “revenge porn,” is reported, the company can now prevent it from being shared on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. This is part of Facebook’s ongoing effort to help build a safe community on and off the platform.
Making this announcement is Antigone Davis, Head of Global Safety, Facebook.
According to a study of US victims of non-consensual intimate images, 93% of people affected by the sharing of intimate images report significant emotional distress, and 82% report significant impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of their life.
Facebook has designed its tools to help people in these situations. Here’s how it works:
If you see an intimate image on Facebook that looks like it was shared without permission, you can report it by using the “Report” link that appears when you tap on the downward arrow or “…” next to a post.
Specially trained representatives from Facebook’s Community Operations team review the image and remove it if it violates Facebook’s Community Standards. In most cases, the company will also disable the account for sharing intimate images without permission. Facebook offers an appeals process if someone believes an image was taken down in error.
We then use photo-matching technologies to help thwart further attempts to share the image on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. If someone tries to share the image after it’s been reported and removed, Facebook will alert them that it violates its policies and that the company has stopped their attempt to share it.
Facebook also partners with safety organizations to offer resources and support to the victims of this behavior.
These tools, developed in partnership with safety experts, are one example of the potential technology has to help keep people safe. Facebook is in a unique position to prevent harm, one of its five areas of focus as it helps build a global community.
Facebook is grateful for all of the advice and assistance it received in developing these tools and resources. The company has worked with the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative and other companies to create a one-stop destination for victims and others to report this content to the major technology companies.
Additionally, the National Network to End Domestic Violence, Center for Social Research, the Revenge Porn Helpline (UK) and the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative provided input and feedback throughout the product-development process.
Facebook convened over 150 safety organizations and experts last year in Kenya, India, Ireland, Washington DC, New York, Spain, Turkey, Sweden and the Netherlands to get feedback on ways it can improve. Their feedback helped drive today’s announcement.
Facebook look forward to building on these tools and working with other companies to explore how they could be used across the industry.