Facebook and Instagram have just taken a new measure to combat child pornography flooding their social networks, and it should help other sites to defend themselves.
A new online tool aims to give back some control to teenagers, or people who have been, and remove explicit images and videos about them from the Internet. Called Take It Down , the tool is run by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and funded in part by Meta Platforms, the owner of Facebook and Instagram.
It is essentially a database that will allow users to submit a “digital fingerprint” of known child pornography material, a digital code linked to an image or video rather than the file itself . This code will then be stored and deployed by the other participating platforms to detect signs of sharing the same image or video elsewhere online. The images will therefore be removed and blocked so that they do not proliferate.
META WANTS TO HELP REMOVE INTIMATE IMAGES OF MINORS FROM THE INTERNET
Meta clarifies that this program is not just for those under 18. Parents can act on a child’s behalf, and adults can delete images taken of them when they were younger.
“ Having a personal intimate image shared with others can be frightening and overwhelming, especially for young people. It can be even worse when someone tries to use these images as a threat to obtain other images, sexual contact or money – a crime known as sextortion,” said Antigone Davis, manager . world of security at Meta.
To create a hash of an explicit image, a teenager can go to TakeItDown.NCMEC.org to install software on their device. The anonymized number, not the image, will then be stored in a database linked to Meta, so that if the photo is ever posted to Facebook or Instagram, it will be compared to the original, reviewed and possibly deleted.
For its part, the NCMEC warns that platforms may have “ limited capabilities ” to remove content already online, but that this could still help mitigate or reverse the damage caused by unwanted sharing . In France, a law aiming to “guarantee respect for the image rights of children” could soon be passed . This bill, tabled by Bruno Studer (Renaissance deputy for the Bas-Rhin department), will be examined in March 2023.