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Facebook has a strange plan to stop revenge porn, and it’s being piloted in Australia

PM yourself your nudes, people.

Facebook has come up with a novel and potentially dodgy solution to the problem of revenge porn.

ABC News reports that Facebook has teamed up with a small Australian Government agency to prevent intimate images being shared without consent.

e-Safety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant told ABC that one in five Australian women aged 18-45 and one in four Indigenous Australians are victims of “image-based abuse” and that this new pilot program would help to stop it.

Inman Grant says it works like this: you send your own nude pics to yourself and then Facebook uses technology to “hash” the pics, which means to create a digital fingerprint of them.

Using photo-matching technology, Facebook will then know if someone else tries to upload the same pics.

But before you rush out and send yourself your nudes, you should know that some are unconvinced this is a good idea.

One information security researcher told Motherboard that the program requires putting an enormous amount of trust in Facebook.

“Yes, they’re not storing a copy, but the image is still being transmitted and processed. Leaving forensic evidence in memory and potentially on disk,” a digital forensic expert told Motherboard.

“My specialty is digital forensics and I literally recover deleted images from computer systems all day—off disk and out of system memory. It’s not trivial to destroy all trace of files, including metadata and thumbnails.”

We should also probably remember that Facebook has done some shady stuff including leaking private information, cooperating with government search requests, manipulating users’ feeds to run a psychological experiment and letting Russians crap all over the 2016 U.S election.

Australia is one of four countries that are participating in the pilot “send nudes program”.

Currently, the best method of preventing revenge porn remains the same: don’t take nude pics.

About the author

Stefan is an Adelaide-based freelance writer. In his spare time, he plays tennis badly, collects vinyl and brushes up on his Mandarin. Follow Stefan on Twitter

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