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Revenge porn is the focus of Facebook’s latest announcement

Facebook is making it harder to share “non-consensual images” on its platform, it announced today.

Revenge porn — the act of releasing intimate images or video of someone as a way of getting back at them — is receiving tighter restrictions “as part of [an] ongoing effort to help build a safe community on and off Facebook”.

Users can now report any post they believe fits that description from Facebook’s standard report feature. Trained professionals then review the report, and if an image is deemed contrary to Facebook’s community standards, it is removed.

The company also assert that most accounts found guilty of posting intimate images without permission are disabled, and that there is an appeals process for those who believe they were punished unfairly.

Facebook will now keep a record of all revenge porn posted to the site, so that users who attempt to repost it will be thwarted by the platform’s photo-matching technology.

Users can now report any post they believe fits the description of revenge porn from Facebook’s standard report feature

“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.”

The company also offers support and resources for victims of the attacks.

Facebook quotes a 2013 study by the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative that claims 93% of victims of revenge porn suffer significant emotional distress, and 82% report “significant impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of their life.”

The study also found that 90% of victims of non-consensual pornography are women, and that just under 50% of victims said they had been harassed or stalked by online users who saw the material. This is thanks in large part to the fact that most perpetrators publish full names and social media information along with the images.

For this new feature, Facebook consulted 150 safety organisations from around the world, as well the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, the National Network to End Domestic Violence and the Revenge Porn Helpline.

The company have also compiled a Facebook-specific guide on how to report and handle revenge porn.

Author | Julia Breakey

Julia Breakey
Julia is a UCT film graduate with a passion for dogs, media, and dog-centric media. If she's not gushing about the new television show that you need to watch, she's rewatching The Good Place (which you need to watch). More

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