How Can You Prevent Your Nudes From Being Spread? A New Facebook Feature Is Asking Users To Upload Explicit Photos In Order To Track Them

Ad failed to load

If you're worried someone might try to spread nude photos of you, Facebook has a possible solution for you: Send your nude photos to them first. The social network is testing a feature in Australia that involves users uploading explicit photos of themselves and then flagging them as "non-consensual intimate images," allowing Facebook to recognize them in case someone else tries to spread them in the future. If the new feature proves successful, the trial will be expanded to the U.S., the U.K., and Canada, Newsweek reported. A Facebook spokesperson, speaking to Bustle on background via email, confirmed that this feature was being tested in Australia.

To make use of the feature, a Facebook user has to fill out a brief form, then begin a Facebook Messenger conversation with themself, send the photo in the conversation, and flag it. Then, a team of Facebook workers will review the photo to make sure that it violates Facebook's policies around spreading non-consensual images, a Facebook spokesperson tells Bustle via email.

Ad failed to load

If an image passes a human evaluation, Facebook will then create a "hash" of the image, which is like a unique fingerprint for the file, as Motherboard reported. Motherboard added that "[if] another user tries to upload the same image on Facebook or Instagram, Facebook will test it against its stored hashes, and stop those labeled as revenge porn from being distributed." After the hash is created, the user will be notified that they can delete the photo in the messenger conversation, which stays private.

Revenge porn distributed on Facebook can be especially damaging to people, lawyer Alexandra Whiston-Dew told Newsweek, because "they have their friends, family, work colleagues all gathered in one place for maximum humiliation by publication," she explained. For revenge porn posters, who are generally looking to damage an ex-partner's reputation, the opportunity to expose private images to all of their contacts at once is a golden one. But if you're leery of purposefully handing explicit photos of yourself to any giant tech company, well... you're not alone. Motherboard spoke with digital forensics expert Lesley Carhart, who explained that while Facebook says it won't store a copy of your nudes, just a copy of the hashes made from them, "the [original, explicit] image is still being transmitted and processed. Leaving forensic evidence in memory and potentially on disk." Even though the image is being shared in a private direct message to yourself, the idea of uploading it onto the web at all is uncomfortable for some.

The Australian trial is a cooperative effort between Facebook and Australia's Office of the eSafety Commissioner, and it's a way for users to "inoculate" themselves against potential future attacks, said eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant, in a statement reported by CNBC.

Ad failed to load

The fact that Facebook is actively developing tools that could possibly help lower the number of people who are affected by revenge porn is not surprising. The company released new guidelines in April 2017 that signaled a crackdown on revenge porn and the implementation of photo-matching technology that would allow victims of revenge porn posted on Facebook to report a single post containing the image, instead of needing to track down and report every individual post, according to WIRED. WIRED also reported that additionally, users who are about to post a flagged image will receive a pop-up notification telling them it's revenge porn.

The need for tools like these on Facebook became particularly apparent in March 2017, with the uncovering of Marines United, a secret Facebook group with more than 30,000 servicemen who non-consensually traded women's private photos. More protections for people who could be affected by revenge porn are desperately needed, but this method of protecting privacy has some people unnerved.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Everything Leaving & Coming To Netflix In March, So You Can Plan Your Next Marathon Now

Even though the groundhog saw his shadow — forecasting six more weeks of winter — a nice spring thaw is already on everyone's minds. Fortunately, Netflix has things squared away for March. Whether you're ready to cozy up in front of a fire or get you…
By Sophy Ziss

11 Thoughts That Mean You’re Not As Happy With Your Partner As You Might Think

Even if your current dating situation seems to be going well — you're hanging out, having fun, having sex, etc. — it's still possible that you might not be happy with your partner, and thus not truly happy in your relationship. This can be a gut feel…
By Carolyn Steber

25 Book Recommendations From Your Favorite TV Characters

Although the two may seem like natural enemies, the truth is, television and reading are a match made in bibliophile heaven. Not only are some of the best shows based on or inspired by literature, but whenever you turn on the tube you can be sure to …
By Sadie Trombetta

It Took Heather Graham YEARS To Make A Movie About Women Ditching Toxic Men. The Reason? Men.

They say you should write what you know. But in Hollywood, that age-old advice apparently needs an addendum: Write what you know — as long as men are into it. And for actor and newly minted director/screenwriter Heather Graham — a woman who swam thro…
By Kelsea Stahler

Bustle's Editors On Rachel McAdams + Parkland Survivors

Happy Thursday, everyone! I don't know about you, but I feel like February has gone by so so fast (wasn't January, like, yesterday?). This year is hurrying along, and with so much happening every day it's hard to keep up all the time. But, I've got a…
By Danielle Colin-Thome

7 Signs Your Energy Is Closed Off To Love, According To A Psychic

Finding love requires more than just the actions of going on dates or setting up an online dating profile. It also requires opening yourself up to love and giving off the vibe that you're open. You may not even realize it if you're energetically bloc…
By Suzannah Weiss

Target Just Launched A Gorgeous New Home Brand — And Most Pieces Are Under $30

Design lovers rejoice! Everyone's favorite store for pretty much everything is about to make all your daring decorating dreams come true. Today, Target's corporate blog issued a press release that provides a peek into Target's new homeware line, Opal…
By Callie Tansill-Suddath

17 Brilliant Ways To Support Parkland Survivors Wherever You Are

Following the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, survivors are demanding Congress take action. A large group of students who survived the shooting are opposing politicians' "thoughts and prayers," arguing that inst…
By Sarah Beauchamp

Here's Where Your Next Trip Should Be, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

If you've been craving a vacation, now is a good time to take the plunge. According to data collected by travel site Expedia, late winters and early spring are pretty much the best times of the year to go on vacation. Based on average airfare ticket …
By Callie Tansill-Suddath

How This Quadriplegic Beauty Lover Beat Cancer & Became A Professional Makeup Artist

In 2010, one day before she was supposed to start cosmetology school, Steph Aiello was involved in a car crash that left her paralyzed from the waist down with limited ability to move her hands and one of her closest friends dead. She would spend the…
By Sara Tan

7 Common Marriage Rules That Aren't Good For Relationships

When it comes to marriage, everyone loves to give their two cents, and with all the warnings and advice floating around out there, no wonder people find marriage intimidating. Luckily, you don't always have to play by the rules, and there's some bad …
By Carina Wolff

The Infuriating Way Hollywood Movie Sets Are Designed To Make Life Harder For Women

Whitney Cummings is fed up — with the way Hollywood treats women, and in particular, the way the it treats female directors who have children. While the entertainment industry may be working hard to get more women behind the camera, Cummings wants to…
By Casey Cipriani

Why Uggs Are Never Going Away, Whether You Like Them Or Not

Uggs. The word alone can conjure up memories of teenage years, regrettable outfits, and undeniable comfort. But if, like me, you thought that you've already said goodbye to those fleece-lined tan boots, you can think again. It seems fashion has adopt…
By Lauren Sharkey

Netflix's New Romantic Movie Will Have You Crying Like It's 'The Fault In Our Stars'

Cancer movies are a heartbreaking staple of Hollywood and have been for decades. It's almost a law of nature: new year, new cancer movie. This year, it's Netflix's Irreplaceable You, a heartbreaking original about a longtime couple who get thrown for…
By Olivia Truffaut-Wong

I Got A Breast Reduction & It Was About So Much More Than The Size Of My Boobs

As a young teenager, I pretty much reached peak physical maturity overnight. One day I was wearing my first training bra a la Lizzie McGuire, and the next I was sweatily fumbling around a Victoria’s Secret with 32DD boobs, trying to summon up the cou…
By Sierra Taylor Horton

Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu Have Matching Tattoos & The Story Is So Cute

Olympic season gives people the feels. From those shipping Canadian ice dancing pair Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to Shaun White's gold medal win on Tuesday, the feels are real. Now, there's another reason to get all up in your emotions. Adam Rippon a…
By Shea Simmons

A New Study Says Being In A Relationship Could Change Your Taste In Wine — Here's How

I’d be willing to bet that for many of you, a nice bottle of wine is awaiting you in your near future — and if you’re planning on sharing that bottle with a partner, there might be more to your choice than meets the eye: According to recent research,…
By Lucia Peters

Carrie Brownstein On Why Even The Obama Era Should Have Enraged You

An icy January morning soon after Hollywood's show of solidarity for the #MeToo movement at the Golden Globes and almost exactly one year into the Trump Administration feels like a momentous time to be sitting across from Carrie Brownstein. The Sleat…
By Samantha Rollins

Here’s What The Upcoming Year Of The Dog Means For Your Chinese Zodiac Sign

On Feb. 16 the world will celebrate the Chinese New Year, welcoming the Year of the Dog in like the good doggo it is — we hope. A new year means new zodiac predictions for the 365 days ahead. So, what does the Year of the Dog mean for your Chinese zo…
By Brittany Bennett

7 Signs You're Ready To Get Into A Relationship, According To Experts

It can be difficult to tell when you're ready to start dating again. Maybe you're coming off of a bad breakup, maybe you've just been focused on other things. And, ironically, one of the signs that you're ready to be in a relationship is that you're …
By Lea Rose Emery

The 15 Best Fiction Books Of February Feature Tons Of Extraordinary Women

When the cold winds of February blow in, there's nothing I want more than to hide under my covers with a good book. Luckily, there's more than a few fantastic new fiction books coming out this month, so the only tough decision you'll have to make is …
By Melissa Ragsdale