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INTERNATIONAL

Facebook Tackling Revenge Porn and 1.5 Lakh Revenge Porn Complaints Monthly

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Revenge porn is a crime! Revenge porn is also referred to as non-consensual pornography or ‘sextortion’ in social media. It is a form of forced invasion of sexual privacy of a person and subsequently harassing a person online where the executor- usually an ex-partner- posts intimate photos and videos on social media without consent and with the aim of shaming the subject.

Social media sites get a lot of revenge porn yearly! One such statistic is from the magnum social media platform Facebook which has reported of receiving around 5 lakh reports of revenge porn each month. This figure however seems too low considering the platform has around 2.6 billion active users as of today!

Facebook is also the owner of other widely used apps like Instagram, Messenger and Whatsapp which subsequently also receives complaints and reports of consensual pornography. Earlier in the year 2019, Facebook launched a number of artificial intelligence (AI) tools to tackle the issue. These tools effectively detect revenge porn before the posts are being reported by the users.

In the year 2017, Facebook initiated a pilot project where users were allowed to submit intimate pictures to the platform as a means of training its AI tool to identify and remove such photographs if they appear on the platform. Though this project was met with harsh criticism and reaction, there were also positive feedback from victims of revenge porn.

Facebook has a dedicated team of 25 people who work full time fighting revenge porn. The motive of the team is not only to delete photographs or videos from the platform after they are reported, but also to detect such images using the Artificial Intelligence tools once they are uploaded to prevent them from being shared.  The social media giant considers an image to be revenge porn if it meets three prime conditions: one, the image comes as non-consensual or is shot in a private settling, two, it features someone nude, engaged in any sexual activity or a provocative sexual pose and three, the photograph has been shared without the subject’s permission. If an image matches any of these conditions, it is immediately taken down.

Facebook’s fight against revenge porn was just a tiny bit in an enormous challenge of tackling scalable content solutions for ugly human behaviour. Not only revenge porn, Facebook is also using AI tools to handle hate speech, violence and conspiracy theories among other objectionable material on its platform.

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