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Social Media Combating the Spread of Revenge Porn

Photo by The Conversation

Photo by The Conversation

It’s no secret that social media has forever changed the way we socialize. It allows us to instantly share moments with others in the form of words, pictures, and even video. But what are the consequences of someone sharing that content—meant for their eyes only—with the rest of the world? At the rate things spread on the internet, an image has the potential to reach thousands in just a few seconds, and, depending on the contents of the image, the consequences can be devastating.

That is always the case with revenge porn, a category of pornography in which a person is privately videotaped having sexual intercourse or performing sexual acts. The footage is then released out onto the internet without consent as a form of revenge or retaliation, usually following a breakup. And while revenge porn is harmful to anyone regardless of age or gender, young women are disproportionately far more likely to be victims of this dastardly phenomenon.

Websites that host this despicable content range from adult sites to more accessible platforms like Facebook, which has, in the past, been widely criticized for taking a rather passive stance on the issue. However, the social media giant is now trying to lead the way in trying to stop the spread of revenge pornography. Founder Mark Zuckerberg recently launched a campaign against revenge porn, labeling the practice as “wrong” and “hurtful.” The primary step Zuckerberg and his team have taken to prevent the content is adding a report button on the bottom corner of any picture or video posted on the site. This way, whenever someone sees something that is defaming or personally charged pornographic material, they can report it to a team of Facebook content coordinating specialists who will work to remove and block the poster and his/her content.

Photo by Cyber Civil Rights Initiative

Photo by Cyber Civil Rights Initiative

Additionally, the company plans to implement AI and facial recognition technology to prevent the future posting of similar images, and they are also teaming up with anti-bullying and safety organizations to help victims of nonconsensual pornography.

In terms of other social media venues taking action, you’ll be glad to know almost all have taken similar actions to prevent and stop the spread of revenge porn. Instagram, while not offering a direct button, does have features where you can report inappropriate or defaming content. Twitter, too, has similar features, where users of the site can select specific content and send it to the site’s moderators to review for potential banning. All and all, social media is taking important steps, rightfully saying “NO” to revenge porn.

Most importantly, however, are the measures being put in place on a legislative level. Currently, over half of all US states have laws specifically applicable to revenge porn, and hopefully with the public wising up to the issue, revenge porn will be soon be a thing of the past.

 

By Hank Gowdey


0 0 191 31 May, 2017 Articles, Health, News, Tech May 31, 2017

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