Facebook cracks down on revenge porn

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Facebook Wednesday announced the launch of new tools that will help users to report "revenge porn" and prevent the images from being circulated on the social networking site.

"Facebook's announcement of a tool to clamp down on sharing images flagged as revenge porn sounds like a step in the right direction, but we believe more needs to be done on a wider scale, including changing the law to afford victims the same automatic anonymity in the media as those who make a complaint of rape and other serious sexual offences". That's where Facebook's "photo-matching technologies" factors in: if and when another user tries to share an image that has already been removed, they will be alerted that the photograph violates Facebook's policies and will not be able to share it.

It all starts when a user sees an explicit image shared without their permission.

"There was one study, which found that 93 per cent of people affected by the sharing of intimate images reported significant emotional distress, and 82 per cent reported feeling significant impairment in social, occupational and other areas of their life", she said.

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Facebook says this is part of their "ongoing effort to help build a safe community on and off" their platform.

The bill would see a jail sentence of up to seven years for so-called "revenge porn".

Policing such images has proven a hard task for Facebook and other social networks that deal with a flood of posts each day and have not always consistently enforced their policies regarding graphic images.

Finally, Facebook is partnering with safety organizations to offer revenge porn victims resources and support. In today's mobile era, it's extremely easy to document everything and just snap a photo of various settings and people with a simple tap of a button on a smartphone.

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A specially trained group of Facebook employees will provide human review of each reported image, Davis said.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), who has led the fight in Congress to legislate against the dissemination of revenge porn, praised Facebook's new tools.

"We look forward to building on these tools and working with other companies to explore how they could be used across the industry", Davis said. She pointed to the development of the suicide prevention tools that Facebook had introduced and developed, moving from a simple reporting system to using machine learning to identify at-risk accounts.

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