Nov 10, 2017

Facebook's plan to combat revenge porn

Ina Fried, author of Login

A phone featuring Facebook Messenger. Photo: Jeff Chiu / AP

In a move that prompted a fair amount of head-scratching, Facebook's plan to combat revenge porn involves people sending their nude pictures directly to Facebook. On Thursday, Facebook offered more details on how that process will work, at least in Australia, where it is being tested.

Our thought bubble: This still seems like it could backfire, but it isn't as crazy as it first sounded.

  • Australians who are concerned about an image being shared fill out a form on a government Web site (without attaching the photo).
  • They then send the image in question to themselves on Facebook Messenger.
  • A specially trained Facebook official views the photo in question.
  • Facebook stores a hash of the photo (a computer derivative, but not a viewable picture).
  • Once hashed, the government notifies the person of the report and encourages the person to delete the photo from their messenger feed.

Note: Facebook already has a mechanism for reporting photos that are shared without consent; this new test is designed to prevent images from being shared in the first place. Facebook security chief Alex Stamos addresses why the company took this approach in a Twitter thread worth reading.

"We are aware that having people self-report their images carries risk, but it's a risk we are trying to balance against the serious, real-world harm that occurs every day when people (mostly women) can't stop (non-consensual images) from being posted," Stamos wrote.

Go deeper

Police officer in George Floyd killing arrested

A protester with a sign with George Floyd's last words. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer involved in the killing of George Floyd, was taken into custody Friday by Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, according to the Star Tribune's Briana Bierschbach.

The state of play: Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said that there was no additional charging information yet, as that decision is in the jurisdiction of the Hennepin County Attorney's Office.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

Trump forces fateful choices on Twitter and Facebook

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's war with Twitter is confronting social media platforms with a hard dilemma: whether to take fuller responsibility for what people say on their services, or to step back and assume a more quasi-governmental role.

The big picture: Facebook is trying to be more like a government committing to impartiality and protecting free speech and building mechanisms for arbitration. Twitter, pushed by Trump's inflammatory messages, is opting to more aggressively enforce conduct rules on its private property, like a mall owner enforcing rules inside the gates.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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