Editors' Note: Adult Australians concerned that an intimate image may be shared online can complete an online form on the eSafety Commissioner's official website detailing their concerns.
The identifier is used to block any further distribution on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger as a pre-emptive strike against revenge porn, a common method of abuse and exploitation online. From there, Facebook will use image-matching technology to detect whether or not an uploaded photo has been previously flagged.
Facebook's software will create a "hash" - a digital fingerprint of the photo - so it can be recognised the next time it is uploaded and automatically blocked.
NY lawyer Carrie Coldberg, who specialises in sexual privacy, told The Guardian: "We are delighted that Facebook is helping solve this problem - one faced not only by victims of actual revenge porn but also individuals with worries of imminently becoming victims".
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Prof Clare McGlynn, from Durham Law School, said that the United Kingdom should establish a similar organisation to Australia's e-safety commission.
The social-media platform are now encouraging users to send in their nude photos to the company itself as a way to ensure that nobody else out there could ever hijack the images.
Outside of the Facebook Messenger pilot project, anyone who thinks they have been a victim of revenge porn can report the photos through Facebook's dedicated reporting process, revamped in April. It uses "cutting-edge" technology to prevent resharing of the images on its platforms, which includes Messenger and Instagram. "This pilot has the potential to disable the control and power perpetrators hold over victims, particularly in cases of ex-partner retribution and sextortion, and the subsequent harm that could come to them", says Inman Grant. There was also no immediate word on when the program will be launched in the U.S.
It will then be up to the sender to delete the image.