Meta is launching a few new upgrades and initiatives to help kids on its platforms prevent sextortion, the firm stated on Tuesday.
Most significantly, Meta announced the expansion of the availability of Take It Down, an online service funded by it and administered by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The company has also updated its Sextortion portal with new guidelines and is beginning a global campaign to increase awareness about sextortion.
Take It Down is intended to limit the spread of non-consensual intimate pictures and is now accessible in 25 other languages after initially releasing in English and Spanish last year.
It enables teenagers to regain control of their personal intimate images while preventing ex-partners and scammers from sharing them online. People under the age of 18 can use the system if they are concerned about their content being shared online. It can also be utilized by parents or trustworthy adults on behalf of a minor. Furthermore, it can be utilized by adults who are concerned about photos of themselves shot when they were under the age of 18.
The system works by instructing users to assign a unique hash, or digital fingerprint in the form of a numerical number, to their image or video from their own device.
After submitting the hash to NCMEC, Meta can locate and remove any duplicates of the image or video. It can also assist prevent anyone who has threatened them from posting them again in the future. It is worth mentioning that minors only need to submit the hash, not the intimate image or video itself.
Take It Down is now available in Hindi, Chinese, French, German, Icelandic, Portuguese, Urdu, Tagalog, Bengali, Thai, Arabic, Dutch, Tamil, Turkish, Italian, Khmer, Kurdish, Bahasa Indonesian, Malayalam, Marathi, Sinhalese, Vietnamese, and Korean languages.
In addition, Meta is revamping its Sextortion portal with additional tips for kids on how to regain control if they are being targeted. The guidance offers suggestions for parents on how to support their teen if they are being targeted. Meta collaborated with Thorn, a nonprofit that develops technology to protect children from sexual assault, to create the amended guidelines.
Meta’s global effort aims to educate kids and parents about these frauds and how to avoid them. The corporation will collaborate with safety organizations and creators to raise awareness about the issue.
The new updates come a week after Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified at a Senate hearing. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told the executive that his company had blood on its hands, noting that a man in the audience had lost his son to suicide after being targeted in an Instagram sextortion ring. Zuckerberg was later pressed to apologize to the many parents in the crowd who were holding up photos of children they had lost as a result of online abuse on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
Zuckerberg testified with the CEOs of Snapchat, Meta, TikTok, X, and Discord.