Using Technology to Protect Intimate Images and Help Build a Safe Community

By Antigone Davis, Head of Global Safety

Today, we are announcing 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 to us, we can now prevent it from being shared on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. This is part of our ongoing effort to help build a safe community on and off Facebook.

According to a study of US victims of non-consensual intimate images, 93% report significant emotional distress and 82% report significant impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of their life.

We’ve designed our 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 our Community Operations team review the image and remove it if it violates our Community Standards. In most cases, we will also disable the account for sharing intimate images without permission. We offer 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, we will alert them that it violates our policies and that we have stopped their attempt to share it.
  • We also partner 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 our five areas of focus as we help build a global community.

We are grateful for all of the advice and assistance we received in developing these tools and resources. We 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. We also launched a guide specific to Facebook. 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.

We 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 we can improve. Their feedback helped drive us to today’s announcement.

We look forward to building on these tools and working with other companies to explore how they could be used across the industry.

To learn more about safety at Facebook, visit:

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