Facebook's New Weapon Against Revenge Porn Has Flaws, But A Step In The Right Direction

by admin August 1, 2017 at 4:13 pm

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Facebook recently revealed new tools that it will use to fight against revenge porn. The weapon, while powerful, still has certain flaws, but it is a step in the right direction in the fight against the damaging practice. 
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Facebook recently revealed new tools that it will use to fight against “revenge porn,” but while the weapon is powerful, it does not come without flaws.

Facebook’s new tools, however, is a step in the right direction against the phenomenon, and hopefully other social networks and websites will be moved to step up their efforts against revenge porn.

What Is Revenge Porn, And What Will Facebook Do Against It?

Revenge porn is an act usually committed by a spurned lover, who shares intimate pictures of their former partner after the relationship is called off without his or her consent.

Taking pictures and videos of intimate acts is very easy to do with the prevalence of mobile devices such as smartphones. This has led to the rapid increase of revenge porn as a means for bitter or angry people to get back at their former partners.

Revenge porn could cause serious harm to the victim, and is now deemed illegal in 35 states in the United States, Germany, Israel, and the U.K.

To help fight against revenge porn, Facebook has tapped into photo-matching technology that will prevent users from sharing pictures that have already been flagged or reported by other users as revenge porn. An option for users to report pictures as revenge porn is now available.

Users who attempt to share a picture that have already been taken down will see a pop-up notification that states the photo could not be shared as it is in violation of the social network’s policies, and could also have their accounts banned. The restriction on sharing revenge porn is not only limited to Facebook, as users will also not be able to share the flagged pictures on Messenger and Instagram.

The Flaws In Facebook’s Answer To Revenge Porn

The plan of Facebook to address the problem of revenge porn, however, comes with certain flaws.

For one thing, the feature is nowhere near capable of detecting revenge porn by itself, as the victim or other users will first need to report the harmful image or video being shared. Representatives of Facebook will then review the flagged content to see if it is indeed revenge porn before they are flagged as such, and within that period of time, the image or video may have already done its damage in discrediting the reputation of the victim.

In addition, while the new tools will prevent revenge porn from being shared within Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram, it will not be able to stop the spread of the images and videos once they are shared outside the platforms in other social networks or websites.

Facebook Takes First Step In Fight Against Revenge Porn

Despite the flaws, Facebook is taking the first step in a more dedicated fight against revenge porn with its new tools.



It is very difficult to prevent content from spreading online once they have been uploaded, but Facebook is at least willing to try within its own platforms. The hope is that other social networks will adopt a similar mindset in dealing with revenge porn to protect their users from the damaging practice.

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