Facebook launches tools to combat 'revenge porn'

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The social network's latest bid against dangerous content relies on both digital and human vigilance.

Facebook has announced new tools to combat the spread of "revenge porn" images being spread on its social network in a further effort to address online privacy concerns.

Antigone Davis, Facebook’s head of global safety, said victims of "non-consensual intimate images" that are shared without their permission can now be prevented from being shared. 

If a user sees an intimate image on Facebook that looks like it was shared without permission, the can report it using the "Report" link that appears when you tap on a downward arrow next to a post.

Specially-trained representatives from Facebook’s community operations team will then review the image and block from sharing if appropriate, with an appeals process if someone believes an image was taken down in error. 

Davis said: "These tools, developed in partnership with safety experts, are one example of the potential technology has to help keep people safe. Facebook is in a unique position to prevent harm, one of our five areas of focus as we help build a global community."

She said the move was part of Facebook’s ongoing effort to build a safe community, echoing founder Mark Zuckerberg’s social media manifesto in February called "Building global community."

Zuckerberg has faced intense criticism over Facebook’s inaction over fake news and measurement errors. Campaign did not award its annual Medium of the Year accolade to Facebook, even though it was considered to be the dominant medium of 2016, because the social media giant failed to deal with the spread of fake news, brand safety, and measurement errors.

However, today’s announcement was welcomed by Laura Higgins, the founder of the Revenge Porn Helpline, UK.