Facebook has today announced new tools to help people if and when they are impacted by 'revenge porn'. Mark Zuckerberg's company can now prevent images from being shared on Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram if reported to the site.
The move comes one day after the Labour Party launched a bill to take on harassment and harmful communications online. The bill would see a jail sentence of up to seven years for so-called 'revenge porn'. This is the term used to describe one or more people distributing sexually explicit images or videos of another person, without their consent.
Facebook says this is part of their "ongoing effort to help build a safe community on and off" their platform.
New tools have been designed to help those targeted by revenge porn. Here is a rundown on what has been introduced:
- 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 their Community Operations team review the image and remove it if it violates the Community Standards. In many cases, Facebook will also disable the account for sharing intimate images without permission. They offer an appeals process if someone believes an image was taken down in error.
- Facebook 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, they will alert them that it violates the company's policies and that they have stopped their attempt to share it.
- The company also partners with safety organisations to offer resources and support to the victims of this behavior.
Facebook and the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative have published a guide to reporting and removing intimate images, shared without your consent.
It is recommended that those impacted document every aspect of the online abuse. This can include screenshots of the abuse. Details on how to do that can be found here.
It is also advised that those targeted report the image or images in question. A guide to reporting on Facebook can be found here.
Users are also reminded that they have the ability to block, unfriend or unfollow any person. Facebook does not notify a user if they have been blocked.
- Unfollow: When you unfollow someone, you won’t see their posts in your News Feed, but you’ll still be friends with them. They will continue to see your updates.
- Unfriend: This person is removed as a connection to you. If you want to be friends with this person again, you’ll need to send a new friend request.
- Block: People you block can no longer see things you post on your profile, tag you, invite you to events or group, start a conversation with you or add you as a friend. Keep in mind that taking these actions may prevent you from having access to see future or previous content posted by that person.