(WBTV) - Facebook is launching a new program and is asking people to send some intimate images - all in an effort to keep the photos from getting out.
The announcement was made last week and has been making headlines across the globe.
- "Facebook wants your nude photos. What could possibly go wrong?"
- "Why Does Facebook Want Your Nude Photos?"
- "Send Facebook Your Nudes So No One Else Can See Them"
The headlines are enough to keep you scratching your head, but Facebook says it's for a good cause and could keep you safe later.
The social media giant is launching the pilot program in four countries, starting in Australia, which will help prevent intimate images from being posted and shared across Facebook, Messenger, Facebook Groups and Instagram.
The pilot provides a portal for people concerned that an intimate image may be shared online to report it to the Office of the eSafety Commissioner who will notify Facebook to prevent any instances of the image being uploaded.
The user will then be asked to send the photo to themselves on Messenger and the eSafety Commissioner's office will notify Facebook. Then someone from Facebook's community operations team will use image matching technology to prevent any instances of the image being uploaded or shared online.
The program is launching in Austraila, but is slated to hit the United States, Britain and Canada soon.
Facebook's Head of Global Safety, Antigone Davis, said the pilot is an industry first, and builds on the non-consensual intimate images tool announced by Facebook in April that uses cutting-edge technology to prevent the re-sharing of images on its platforms.
"As part of our continued efforts to better detect and remove content that violates our community standards, we're using image matching technology to prevent non-consensual intimate images from being shared on Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Groups and Messenger," Davis said. "These tools, developed in partnership with global safety experts, are one example of how we're using new technology to keep people safe and prevent harm."
According to a 2016 study by the Data & Society Research Institute, One in 25 Americans has been a victim of threats or posts of nearly nude or nude images without their permission.
Of that number, one in 10 women under the age of 30 have experienced threats of nonconsensual image sharing, a much higher rate than either
older women or men.
Julie Inman Grant, Austrailian eSafety Commissioner, says the program has the potential to disable the "control and power perpetrators hold over victims," particularly in cases of ex-partner retribution and sextortion.
"This partnership gives Australians a unique opportunity to proactively inoculate themselves from future image-based abuse by coming to our portal and reporting tool," adds Inman Grant.