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Facebook has new plan to stop 'revenge porn' - but it may sound crazy

WBFF

BALTIMORE (WBFF) - According to the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, more than 60 percent of young women say they've taken nude photos of themselves and shared them with someone else. A quarter of them became victims of "revenge porn."

Now, Facebook has a plan to stop it before it circulates online, but you may cringe when you hear how the social media network plans to do it.

The pilot program is being tested in Australia.

Part of Facebook's plan to stop revenge porn from showing up online includes having people go on Messenger to send nude photos of themselves to themselves.

"It seems crazy," said attorney Ned Himmelrich, chair of the technology and intellectual property group with Gordon Feinblatt. "It could be a last resort."

To crack down on revenge porn, Facebook has partnered with Australia's eSafety Commissioner.

Those concerned that nude pictures of themselves could be shared online can fill out a government form, then send the picture in question to their personal account on Messenger.

Facebook won't save the picture itself, but use what's called "hashing technology" to save a digital code of it to prevent it from being uploaded or shared online.

"You need to be comfortable with the risk involved," said Baltimore resident Anna Burkholder. "At that point, you don't have much to lose, I guess. But it could be dangerous for hackers, if you're worried about hackers."

"There are a lot of things that could go wrong. There are a lot of things that could go right," said Damini Agarwal.

"It is a reason for people to make the best out of a bad situation," said Himmelrich. "But it also adds a risk of putting another picture of yourself nude in the hands of someone who you hope you can trust."

Himmelrich says putting the picture out there, even when sent to yourself, could be risky.

"Maryland has a law criminalizing revenge porn. It's fairly narrow. Facebook is trying to do what it can to stop it," he said. "The other side is, OK, there's a nude picture of you out there. Don't exacerbate it by putting another one out there."

FOX45 reached out to Facebook asking about this coming to the United States.

FOX45 is told the company is talking with NGOs, non-governmental organizations, to expand the pilot in the U.S.

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