Facebook says its new A.I. technology can detect ‘revenge porn’

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Facebook on Friday announced a new artificial intelligence-powered tool that it says will help the social network detect revenge porn — the nonconsensually shared intimate images that, when posted online, can have devastating consequences for those who appear in the photos. The technology will leverage both AI and machine learning techniques to proactively detect near-nude images or videos that are shared without permission across Facebook and Instagram.

The announcement follows on Facebook’s earlier pilot of a photo-matching technology, which had people directly submit their intimate photos and videos to Facebook. The program, which was run in partnership with victim advocate organizations, would then create a digital fingerprint of that image so Facebook could stop it from ever being shared online across its platforms. This is similar to how companies today prevent child abuse images from being posted to their sites.

The new AI technology for revenge porn, however, doesn’t require the victim’s involvement. This is important, Facebook explains, because victims are sometimes too afraid of retribution to report the content themselves. Other times, they’re simply unaware that the photos or videos are being shared.

While the company was short on details about how the new system itself works, it did note that

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