Facebook’s new plan to fight revenge photos has one major flaw
The omnipresent Facebook announced that they will be taking new steps to try to prevent what’s known as ‘revenge porn’. These are usually pictures, mostly of women, that were either taken during romantic moments, or taken without their permission that are then posted on social media as a way of the spurned getting back at the ex. Facebook being the top dog in the social network hierarchy sees a lot of this being posted on their site.
Now, Facebook says that they’ll be implementing photo recognition software to keep such images off their pages. That sounds great in theory, but there’s a major flaw in their approach to this problem: someone needs to report the picture first. It will then be added to a database where Facebook says it will be blocked from being posted across all its properties, including Instagram and WhatsApp.
The problem with this approach is in most cases these photos are posted to private groups, like the infamous Marines United, where the victims, or anyone with a conscience, won’t have access to the photos to report them.
If this process sounds a little familiar it’s because it’s very similar to craigslist’s ‘community policing’ where they expect the users to report ads for illegal content. Instead the flagging option in craigslist is abused in so many ways it’s become virtually pointless.
With Facebook’s and craigslist’s recent joint effort to combat fake news, it seems like they’re putting their heads together on how to make it look like they’re solving a problem without really doing anything about it.