Facebook has been sued in the past for not preventing the sharing of nude images without the subject’s consent. Often, these images are shared on Facebook by former lovers or boyfriends. The victims are usually women but can also be men. In either case, Facebook has not been able to prevent the sharing of these images.
Today, the social media network announced new tools that will make it simpler for people to report nude images. Facebook told press that anyone wishing to report a shared image of themselves can simply tell the network (using the new tools) that the person posting the images did not have consent. But how well will these tools work?
The tools that Facebook mentioned today are photo matching tools. The company will employ an automated photo matching process that will match banned images with images currently circulating on Facebook. Further, Facebook will use the tool to ban images on Instagram and Messenger services.
After meeting with various women’s groups, Facebook has decided that it needs to do more to stop revenge porn and images of women that are shared without consent. Often, these images are shared publically or fake accounts are created where those images are shared - sometimes, images are shared by someone completely unconnected to the victim. The new Facebook tools will protect men as well (some men have also fallen prey to revenge images).
While it’s all well and good that Facebook has created new tools to prevent these types of images from being shone, one has to wonder how effective the tools will be. If you’ve ever tried to reach Facebook in order to have an account shut down or to file any other complaint, you may have noticed that this company is particularly hard to reach.
Facebook has told press that the company will also employ human researchers with the sole intent of combing the network looking for images that are shared illegally. Up until this point, Facebook has not made any real moves to prevent images like these from being shared, and for some people the news of the new tools comes too late.
The End of Revenge?
Lawmakers across the world are trying to find ways to stop revenge porn or revenge images from being spread. In some cases, these images have lead to suicides and depression. In other cases, women have been shamed by friends and family members due to images that were spread on social media.
It’s hard for lawmakers to really crack down on social media and harder without companies like Facebook taking a step towards stopping images from being spread. So while Facebook might be late coming out with these tools, it is a necessary step that will lead to the prevention of revenge images.
The option to report an image should be available to Facebook users today. Hopefully this is the start of the end of these images. Social media makes it too simple for people to do extensive damage to others.