Facebook has been in the news a lot lately for the many ways it has failed to keep spammy and malicious content off its pages. However, the site also quietly announced a positive step it’s taking to remove so-called “revenge porn” this week.
The strategy Facebook is using is similar to one law enforcement employs to combat child abuse photos online. According to a report from Naked Security, the social media giant will feed users’ unwanted nude photos through a hashing process that turns images into nothing more than scrambled code. However, there’s a catch: users will need to first send the photos to themselves via an encrypted Messenger chat. Then, Facebook will be able to hash the picture and prevent it from being uploaded or shared ever again.
Of course, Facebook understands that many people will hesitate to share these traumatic pictures with the site. That’s why the company was quick to point out that its employees won’t be able to view or store the images.
This new feature is currently being tested in Australia, with plans to roll it out to the U.S., Britain and Canada. As it currently stands, users can report nude photos to Facebook for review, at which point the site will perform the same hashing process. However, by preemptively flagging pictures, users could give Facebook a heads-up so it can instantly remove the image moving forward. It might be a tough sell for users to send in their own nude photos, but this is undeniably a helpful tool.