Meta’s latest way to protect teens from sextortion, image abuse

Meta came up with a comic book last year in a campaign labeled the #ebaSafe campaign aimed at upskilling teens with tools to always be in the safe zone.

This year Meta has announced two initiatives related to teen safety, aimed at equipping parents, educators, and teens with the information they need to protect teens against intimate image abuse.

An intimate image shared with others can be devastating, especially for young teens. Meta understands that it can get ugly when the perpetrator threatens to share those images – if the user does not give them more photos, sexual contact, or money.

This is what’s known as sextortion, when the perpetrator makes demands from a user, with the threat to leak, or release private or personal content to the masses.

Meta expands their Take It Down program, a program that helps teens take back control of their intimate images and helps prevent them from being shared online.

In a partnership with Thorn, to develop updated guidance for teens, parents and teachers in an effort to prevent and handle sextortion, Meta launched the global campaign to help raise awareness of scammers and what users can do to avoid them.

Meta has teamed up with Missing Children South Africa, Media Monitoring Africa, Digify Africa, Naledi Mallela, Nandi Khubone, and Melanie Bala to raise awareness of the Take It Down program among teens and parents in the country.

Take It Down

There are several ways people can use Take It Down to find and remove intimate images or help prevent people from sharing them in the first place.

Take It Down was designed to respect young people’s privacy and data security.

To start the process, people can go to and follow the instructions to assign a unique hash — a digital fingerprint in the form of a numerical code — to their image or video, privately and securely from their device.

Teens only need to submit the hash, rather than the intimate image or video itself, which never leaves their device. Once the hash has been submitted to NCMEC, companies like Meta can find copies of the image, take them down and help prevent anyone who’s threatening them from posting them in the future.

Making Take it Down available in 25 languages is a pivotal step towards safeguarding children from the horrors of online exploitation all over the world, according to John Shehan, a Senior Vice President of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

“We aspire to ensure that every child, regardless of language or location, has the opportunity to reclaim their dignity and privacy by having their illicit content removed from participating platforms.”

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