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Meta-funds tool for removing sexual images of minors posted online

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) has announced a new platform designed to remove sexually explicit images of minors from the Internet. Meta revealed in a blog post that it had provided initial funding to launch the NCMEC’s ​​free to use “Take It Down” toolwhich allows users to anonymously report and remove “nude, partially nude, or sexually explicit images or videos” of underage individuals found on participating platforms and prevent the offensive content from being re-shared.

Facebook and Instagram have signed on to integrate the platform, as have OnlyFans, Pornhub and Yubo. Take It Down is designed for minors to self-report photos and videos of themselves; however, adults who appeared in such content when they were under the age of 18 may also use the service to report and remove it. Parents or other trusted adults can also make a report on behalf of a child.

A Frequently Asked Questions about Take It Down states that users must have the reported image or video on their device to use the service. This content is not submitted as part of the reporting process and as such remains private. Instead, the content is used to generate a hash value, a unique digital fingerprint assigned to each image and video that can then be provided to participating platforms to detect and remove from their websites and apps, while minimizing the number of people who see the content. actual content.

“We created this system because many children face these desperate situations,” said Michelle DeLaune, president and CEO of NCMEC. “We hope that children become aware of this service and that they feel a sense of relief that tools exist to remove the images. NCMEC is here to help.”

The Take It Down service is similar to StopNCIIa service launched in 2021 that aims to prevent the involuntary sharing of images for people over the age of 18. StopNCII similarly uses hash values ​​to detect and remove explicit content on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Bumble.

Meta teased the new platform last November alongside the launch of new privacy features for Instagram and Facebook

In addition to the announcement of the partnership with NCMEC last November, Meta rolled out new privacy features for Instagram and Facebook that aim to protect minors using the platforms. These include asking teens to report accounts after they block suspicious adults, removing the message button on teens’ Instagram accounts when viewed by adults with a history of blocking, and applying stricter Facebook privacy settings by default. users under 16 (or 18 in some countries).

Other platforms participating in the program have taken steps to prevent and remove explicit content depicting minors. Yubo, a French social networking app, has a suite of AI and human-operated moderation tools which can detect sexual material depicting minors, while Pornhub allows individuals immediately submit a removal request for illegal or non-consensual content published on its platform.

All participating platforms have previously been criticized for failing to protect minors from sexual exploitation

All five participating platforms have previously been criticized for failing to protect minors from sexual exploitation. a BBC news 2021 report found kids can easily bypass OnlyFans age verification systemswhile Pornhub was sued in the same year by 34 victims of sexual exploitation, alleging that the site knowingly profited from videos featuring rape, child sexual exploitation, human trafficking and other non-consensual sexual content. Yubo — described as “Teen Tinder” – has been used by predators to contacting and raping underage usersand the NCMEC estimated last year that Meta’s plan to apply end-to-end encryption to its platforms could effectively hide 70 percent of the child sexual abuse material currently detected and reported on its platform.

“When technology companies implement end-to-end encryption, without built-in preventative measures to detect known child sexual abuse material, the impact on child safety is devastating.” DeLaune told the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month.

a press release for Take It Down mentions that participating platforms can use the provided hash values ​​to detect and remove images on “public or unencrypted sites and apps”, but it’s not clear if this also applies to Meta’s use of end-to-end -end encryption for services like Messenger. We’ve reached out to Meta for confirmation and will update this story if we hear back.

Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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