Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Facebook to Ask All Users to Upload Nude Images

Social media giant Facebook has begun to roll out new changes designed to "combat revenge porn" in which it will ask all users to upload naked images of themselves for "safety.

"The new scheme is currently being tested in four countries with users being asked to send nude photos through Facebook's messaging service, Messenger, to detect and defend against unauthorized images of people being shared on the site.

The test is aimed at fine-tuning a new preemptive system before the new change is rolled out globally.
When users upload a nude image to Facebook's server, the cutting-edge technology will create a "digital fingerprint" that will help the advanced AI identify it and block it from being shared on any of FB's services.

Australia is one of the first countries to roll out the tests with The Australian Office of the eSafety Commissioner announcing they have partnered with Facebook for the pilot scheme that will allow automatically detect whether sensitive images are being shared online without a person's permission.

RT reports: The eSafety office, which works primarily to prevent the online abuse of minors, asked random Australian users to send a nude photo of themselves via Messenger.

The photographs are then forwarded to Facebook, who will use image matching technology to stop those images from being uploaded to Facebook, Messenger, Facebook Groups or Instagram.

Facebook’s Head of Global Safety, Antigone Davis, said that the “industry-first” pilot will use “cutting-edge technology to prevent the re-sharing of images on its platforms.”

The Australian Office of the eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said that revenge porn or “image-based abuse” (IBA) can be an “incredibly devastating experience” for the victims. The victims of revenge porn often give initial consent to sharing their photos with one other person, only to find out later that the images have fallen into the hands of a stranger.
Sexually explicit photos and the threat of publishing them for the world to see can then be used for blackmail. A recent study found that one in five Australians has been a victim of revenge porn. Both men and women were found to be victims, but those in marginalized groups were found to be at the greatest risk.

“This lets the victim take control and be proactive in their own safety, when so often the burden is on the victim to report to multiple platforms and trace where the image has been. Our vision is that these images could be taken down from every website simultaneously,” Inman Grant told the Australian Financial Review.

Inman Grant said that sharing your nudes on Facebook is safe. Users are told to get in contact with the eSafety Commissioner, who will tell them to send the images to themselves via Messenger. Once the image is sent, Facebook will “hash” it, creating a digital fingerprint which is used to prevent the image from being uploaded in the future. The user is then told to delete the image from their Facebook Messenger.

“They’re not storing the image; they’re storing the link and using artificial intelligence and other photo-matching technologies. So if somebody tried to upload that same image, which would have the same digital footprint or hash value, it will be prevented from being uploaded,” Inman Grant told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

However, it has been demonstrated that machine vision systems can be easily tricked by slight changes that would be virtually indistinguishable to the human eye. A team of Google researchers was able to show how making “imperceptibly small perturbations” to the pixels of an image would cause a neural network to no longer classify that image correctly.
If the pilot goes as planned, the images will never show up on Facebook, even if someone tries to upload them.The US, UK, and Canada will also participate in the pilot with Facebook.

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