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Who’s Up For Sharing Nude Photos of Yourself with Facebook?

Who’s Up For Sharing Nude Photos of Yourself with Facebook?

New “intimate safety” pilot requires people to send their nudies to Facebook

No, this isn’t an Onion article.  Facebook has a new pilot program aimed at protecting users from having their nude bodies plastered all over Facebook . . . by requiring that you upload a photo of your nude body to Facebook.

They will then “hash” your nakedness (turn it into a unique code); once this is done, your hashed image (now code, not a pic of you in all your glory) will then be flagged and refused upload permissions on Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram.

Facebook’s “intimate safety” pilot is currently only available in Australia.

Facebook writes:

We don’t want Facebook to be a place where people fear their intimate images will be shared without their consent. We’re constantly working to prevent this kind of abuse and keep this content out of our community. We recently announced a test that’s a little different from things we’ve tried in the past. Even though this is a small pilot, we want to be clear about how it works.

  • Australians can complete an online form on the eSafety Commissioner’s official website.
  • To establish which image is of concern, people will be asked to send the image to themselves on Messenger.
  • The eSafety Commissioner’s office notifies us of the submission (via their form). However, they do not have access to the actual image.
  • Once we receive this notification, a specially trained representative from our Community Operations team reviews and hashes the image, which creates a human-unreadable, numerical fingerprint of it.
  • We store the photo hash—not the photo—to prevent someone from uploading the photo in the future. If someone tries to upload the image to our platform, like all photos on Facebook, it is run through a database of these hashes and if it matches we do not allow it to be posted or shared.
  • Once we hash the photo, we notify the person who submitted the report via the secure email they provided to the eSafety Commissioner’s office and ask them to delete the photo from the Messenger thread on their device. Once they delete the image from the thread, we will delete the image from our servers.

According to CNET, the motivation here is to limit the distribution of revenge porn (exes maliciously uploading nude photos or videos).

Facebook is asking people to share their nude photos. But this isn’t what it sounds like.

The goal of the social network’s plan is make sure people’s nude photos aren’t used for revenge porn by a disgruntled ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp. Facebook already has a reporting system in place for when someone’s intimate photos are shared without consent, but the idea with this program is to nix the photos before they’re disseminated in the first place.

The way it’ll work is people will share their photos with Facebook via its Messenger app and the company will then “hash” the images, which is a process that converts the photos into a unique digital code. Once Facebook has that code, it can block the images from ever being uploaded to its site.

The company is piloting the technology in Australia with a small government agency headed by e-Safety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant.

“We see many scenarios where maybe photos or videos were taken consensually at one point, but there was not any sort of consent to send the images or videos more broadly,” Inman Grant told the ABC.

Watch the report:

I’m no techie, so it’s not clear to me how uploading one nude photo prevents any but that one image from being uploaded without consent.  The description doesn’t sound like it has some sort of feature recognition software that can recognize one set of lady (or gent) parts from another.

The obvious solution to such concerns is trust no one, ever, with nude images of yourself.  Who ever thought that was a good idea in the first place?  Given that just about every device these days has at least a camera and most have video recording capabilities, such images can conceivably be taken without someone’s consent or knowledge.

I often thank my lucky stars that I was born before eveyone’s every move was subject to being overtly and / or covertly recorded, photographed, videoed, and immediately uploaded for the world to see.

Granted, I’m more worried these days about someone capturing for posterity my sneaking that second serving of crème brûlée than anything else, but it’s hard to see how this Facebook pilot will do much of anything to curb the posting of revenge porn and may even increase the likelihood of your nude photos being posted all over the internet.  Hackers the world over must already be working to access Facebook’s nudie collection.


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Hashing the images is a good idea. I’ve never heard of that being done before, though the math is sound enough.

It sounds like a good idea to keep verboten references on file without the file itself being a source of further leaks.

    This would be great if you could hash it yourself and send the hash to Facebook, but as is, it sounds like a dumb idea to me.

    Facebook will have to store the files somewhere while they await review (by the nudie, er, “intimate safety” team of Facebook employees) and then hashing and then your deleting the image from your device before they finally delete it from theirs (they say). And you have to through this process for every nude photo you have. Kids sext this stuff all over kingdom come, taking new ones all the time in response to prompts from who knows what kind of Carlos Danger pervert.

    I don’t know. I’m a prude to start with, so this is way outside my comfort zone.

      tom_swift in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | November 11, 2017 at 5:37 pm

      The way I’m reading it is that somebody’s already posting something compromising and you want it to stop; and you don’t want them to try again later with the same image as soon as the immediate excitement dies down. The hash on file would allow Facebook to automate that process. It would also work for an image which hasn’t been posted yet but you suspect will be. It would also work with fake images, with your head stuck on somebody else’s whatever, as long as you had a copy of the bogus image available.

      Obviously the proposal has weak points … much like relying on a fire department to put out fires after they’ve become big enough to notice. Much better to prevent them from happening in the first place … but after they do happen, something still needs to be done.

      Also we can postulate that those worried about this sort of thing are no longer splashing their candids about. Dumb kids nowadays are another matter. But considering that commercial photography is nearly two centuries old, there are a lot of old-school photos around, and not all of them of dead people, and I can see Facebook not wanting to be part of the revenge porn business.

        Oh! I see what you mean, yes, that makes sense. If it’s a means of scrubbing compromising photos from the internet, that does make sense because not only are they already out there (they’ve been leaked) but it limits the number of images one might submit to Facebook.

        This “fix” is only good for Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger, though. So it’s kind of like closing the barn door after the horse has bolted, no?

        Also, I’m not clear on how it would recognize someone’s head photoshopped on someone else’s body. Does this venture include software that can distinguish body features in that way? Or is based on the original image background or other features? And what if the villain cuts the body parts out of one pic and pastes it in a blank Paint (or whatever) file? How would that be caught?

        I know we have face recognition technology, but lady and gent part tech? Shudder.

        I find this stuff fascinating, and I love learning from you guys.

          “This ‘fix’ is only good for Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger, though. So it’s kind of like closing the barn door after the horse has bolted, no?”

          Strikes me the same, once anything is out on the web there is a tendency to proliferate. I expect this would apply to nude photos equally, if not moreso.

      Paul In Sweden in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | November 12, 2017 at 8:07 am

      The way that I am reading this from various sources is that you messenger the offending photo to yourself. You are NOT sending the photo to anyone at facebook. Facebook then takes the hash generated by the messenger transfer process. The actual photo is never deposited in some facebook techs mail box or some other database.

      When you download a file if you do the most rudimentary check for yourself you will check file size. Hash is a bit more complicated. Hash tables are used in databases and programing all the time. The transfer protocols used to transfer files, messages and blocks of data have various checks that are built into the communications protocols and are performed many times in fractions of a second every time you use the internet without you even knowing. Basically, the checks are done to verify that block of data from point a is the same for the values checked at point b. What facebook is planning on implementing is retaining the hash values generated in the messenger transaction created when you send the offending picture to yourself. It really is logical. As previously stated on this thread and elsewhere slightly altering the photo would also alter the hash values so you would have to know about the new altered photo and generate a new message to yourself again. A way to look at this is how google reverse image search works.

        Paul In Sweden in reply to Paul In Sweden. | November 12, 2017 at 8:43 am

        Not being someone with a lot of naked pictures to worry about, I did not pay too much attention until I read reviews of the process and I too thought if that is true, it is crazy. When checking into this new hash check I found that it is not crazy but quite sound.

        Facebook should have released a video explaining this whole process in a simple manner. That would have avoided the ridicule, panic and PR disaster that we see today. I don’t know how facebook runs but if something like this happened in one of the big banks and communications equipment companies that I worked for, heads would roll.

        Paul In Sweden in reply to Paul In Sweden. | November 12, 2017 at 9:13 am

        The big deal in this process is that you have to report a nude, obscene or in the future copyrighted photo. This means that somewhere there will be records with your name linking you to that nude photo. I do not see anyway around that other than banning all nude photos visible public or private anywhere on facebook.

        Facebook has said that their people(special people?) will review the link of the nude photo you claim to be of yourself. Think about it, you are not uploading new nude photos of yourself you are pointing out to Facebook techs that this photo at this location exists, it is damaging to yourself and you want it removed. Can you really expect a company to take your word on it and just delete photos on someone else’s account without first knowing that you have standing? Your name will be associated with that photo. How does facebook know that you are not a nude model pissed off about not getting more work from a photographer that you were contracted or if the photo is nude or obscene?

        It is a fine mess. Law enforcement does not have the bandwidth nor the technology to resolve these issues created by your nude photos and facebook is attempting to provide a remedy.

        This process will probably have a lot of application to cases subject to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

    It is not sound. It’s just plain stupid. This is what happens when you replace competent tech staff with SJW bossing H1Bs.

    So I want to post revenge porn on Facebook, knowing such a hash exists. Well the first thought that comes to mind, before posting the image take the upper left pixel and replace it with it’s inverse. Same image, different hash.

    A more sophisticated technique for FB would be to take four or five random rectangular regions and hash those.

    What do I do? I shrink the photo by 1% that blows all regional hashes.

    More sophisticated approach. Remove the top horizontal line and add a new bottom line.

    Take every tenth scan line, replace one of the RGB values (
    randomly chosen ) with the value one higher or one lower.

    All these techniques change the hash or hashes without significantly changing the image.

    I just hope that when FB gets sued for this disaster, they go out of business.

      Oooh, that’s good. How, though, would a revenge-porn poster know the hash? I guess once it’s denied, just tweak this, resize that, fiddle the other thing, right?

      I’m totally skeptical and have not a zillionth the understanding of IT that you and Tom have. To me, it’s simple, don’t ever take and share photos of anything you don’t want your entire family and all your coworkers and neighbors to see.

        They don’t need to know the hash – they just need to slightly alter the image to change the hash. And he’s right, there are any number of techniques that are ludicrously easy for anybody with the basic tools on every computer to slightly modify a picture so it passes any hash check.

        Trying to explain to non IT people – think of it like a thousand playing cards laid out in front of you face down. If the values of the cards match the set that they have, then it is rejected. You don’t actually have to KNOW the set. Simply swap any 2 cards without looking at them and it no longer matches the set, and the average person won’t even notice 1 card difference in 1000 of them.

        Obviously its a bit more complicated than that with various techniques to get around it but that’s the gist of it. You can alter a picture to avoid any hash verification without visibily altering the picture.

        A hash algorithm will only return the same result on identical images. You don’t need to know the internals of the algorithm to get different results…just alter the image.

      Paul In Sweden in reply to RodFC. | November 12, 2017 at 8:27 am

      Why would facebook be sued and why is it a disaster? If I report a photo it goes through this new proposed process and it is deleted and all future identical photo uploads are blocked. An altered photo is uploaded escaping the probable similarities checks; it of course has to go through the whole reporting process again. What is the big deal?

      Twitter: I report a mean tweet, it is deleted by twitter. The mean tweet is repeated. Does twitter get sued? No. What facebook is trying to do is delete the offending posting and all repetitive postings of the one time report in the future. This helps the victim by saving the victim from re-reporting the same photo each time it is uploaded on the facebook platform. Of course someone can create an altered new attack. Why in the world would facebook be liable for a new malicious attack by an enduser?

The eSafety Commissioner’s office is down the hall, right next to the Ministry of Silly Walks,

Oh, yeah. Trust these intimate images to Facebook. Sure. Then go buy the Brooklyn Bridge. Are they serious?

Either make really sure your photos are not being saved to any Cloud sites, and then never, ever email them to anyone; or, best of all, don’t take any nudes photos to begin with.

All of this makes complete sense to a liberal I suspect.

A similar program could be instituted for child porn!

Would this have prevented Janet Reno from sending me all of those nudes?

So they will prevent people from putting naked pictures on the internet… by uploading their own naked picture.





Can’t they just get these nude images from the TSA?

“Facebook has a new pilot program aimed at protecting users from having their nude bodies plastered all over Facebook . . . by requiring that you upload a photo of your nude body to Facebook.”

Sure! What could possibly go wrong?

We found out a long time ago how to keep naked pictures of us from showing up on the internet.

We don’t take naked pictures of ourselves.

It’s a complicated process for some of the more ‘woke’ individuals, but it has served us well for many years. Maybe they should try it… Oh, wait. Too late.

How about we just not take nude selfies?

Sounds like a high-tech TSA naked body scan to me! I see NO problems whatsoever with this plan! ( wink, wink)

I think this is an employee benefit plan to provide Facebook employees with free porn.

This sounds like one of those “You go first” games from my childhood.

If I were really cruel, I’d send in the pictures and destroy the optic nerves of FB employees.


Paul In Sweden | November 11, 2017 at 9:59 pm

Facebook should be able to work from a link. So if you found an offending photo on facebook or elsewhere on the web you would be able to make a statement that you are the victim and here is the link of my unauthorized photo or video. Eliminating the need for you to upload the offending photo. There is no reason this could not work with videos also.

If you find nude pictures of yourself on FB you can send them in so they will be removed. Though this could be abused to ban any pictures.

You former friend could make a slight change to the photo to get around the ban.

Something like this requires a careful risk analysis. All projects have four potential outcomes:
– Intended results achieved
– Intended results not achieved (gaps)
– unintended results that are good
– unintended results that are bad

Does FN have a process to identify those results? I do not know. Do I trust FB without evidence? No.

Before the benefits can be evaluated, one should identify all significant risks and what the negative outcomes are from those risks. If I am not willing to accept the harm, I stop there unless I can mitigate the harm to an acceptable level. If I can accept the harm, then I do a value analysis (benefit at what cost).

Until I do all of that, the benefits are nice to think about but I would not be ready to take steps to enjoy them. I think the risks are significant and I do not trust FB without evidence that they have skin (pun alert) in the game.

Is there no way to reverse engineer the hashed data? It seems like in the concrete world of computer programming this is impossible to prevent.

I mean how many times have we heard of unbreakable encryptions that get broken?

Total novice in computer languages and computer science here, so take my opinion with a huge grain of salt.

I would gladly post verifiable nude photos of myself only if I could be generously recompensed each time one was used to cure constipation or induce vomiting.

Over the last 15 months I have been battling Glioblastoma Multiforme, I endured all the standard protocols and cheno and radiation treatments. I even took advantage of the system described at OPTUNE.COM No amount of out-of-pocket money spent could stop progression of tumors. Please, I do not seek sympathy But let me explain what has become a trigger for me. I could yell and screen at every TV commercial that shows laughing happy families surrounding an equally jovial cancer patient. No, it is pure Hell for everyone involved. I pray the good Lord take me soon.

    lgbmiel in reply to MadisonS. | November 13, 2017 at 10:32 am

    You aren’t seeking sympathy, but I empathize with you. My father is in end stage prostate cancer. His oncologist has says it’s a very, very aggressive cancer. He beat it before, several years ago – still has the radiation seeds implanted from that treatment.

    We discovered the cancer had returned in February of this year. It has metastasized to his bones, bladder, lymph nodes, and spine. The tumors actually fractured a vertebra in his spine and he needed a kyphoplasty – injection of a cement like material to stabilize the fracture.

    He has lost nearly 50 lbs. in less than a year. He could have been a skeleton for Halloween – without any costume. He is in so much pain. My mother is exhausted from taking care of him. What has helped tremendously are the visiting nurses and palliative care people that visit weekly. I don’t think we could have managed without them.

    I, also, seek no sympathy. My goal is to offer some understanding of your situation. I will keep you in my thoughts, MadisonS, and pray for you and your loved ones.