The parent company of Facebook and Instagram, Meta, announces that it is funding a system for tracking intimate images and videos to better remove them from their social networks. A collaboration with a US public organization that follows numerous critiques of Meta’s management responsibility in the distribution of this content.
It’s a real” hidden pandemic said a vice president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). In collaboration with this American public organization, the web giant Meta announced funding for a tool on Monday, February 27 dedicated to combating unauthorized online sharing of intimate photos and videos of minors.
An illegal practice better known as revenge porn or sextortion where the victim has to pay to remove this content from the internet. According to CNNAs of 2016, the NCMEC has more than 250,000 cases in the United States.
Voluntary tracking of the intimate content
Baptized” take it down “, this platform funded 100% by Meta (parent company of Facebook and Instagram) should allow young Americans to have their intimate content automatically identifiable by the platforms it would be published on.
In concrete terms, a minor or adult user can go the page dedicated to this tool on the NCMEC website, then decide to link an intimate photo or video to the platform. He or she then receives a unique and anonymous hash identifier, which is the only element that is sent to the US organization’s database.
The NCMEC then shares this digital fingerprint (and only this one) with the program’s partners: Facebook and Instagram, of course, but also with Facebook Messenger and Instagram’s direct message service. The pornographic platforms OnlyFans and Pornhub have also been affected, according to the American television channel CNN.
Therefore, if the same content is uploaded through these services, it will be automatically analyzed and removed if necessary.
A bandage on a gaping wound
If this tool has the merit of providing users with automatic traceability of their content across major online platforms for the first time, even the head of security at Meta, Antigone Davies, acknowledges that this tool is no panacea with CNN.
Take It Down can identify a specific photo even if it has been copied or has a color filter applied to it, but the platform fails if the image is altered in any other way. It is enough even to reframe the intimate content, the American media assures. But Meta’s leader believes it is a tool that is part of a broader approach to combat the misappropriation of intimate images of young people.
The multinational is not acting out of the goodness of its heart: Facebook and Instagram have been in the crosshairs of the US government since the leak of a internal reporting in 2021recognize the effect toxic of Instagram featuring young teenage girls. Since then, Meta has taken several initiatives to protect its users, as the press release recalls. However, as noted CNNseveral experts argue that this is not enough to catch up.