Facebook and eSafety Office partner to protect Australians online

Australia is one of four countries participating in a limited global pilot with Facebook that will help prevent intimate images of Australians being posted and shared across Facebook, Messenger, Facebook Groups and Instagram.

The pilot provides a portal for people concerned that an intimate image may be shared online to report it to the Office of the eSafety Commissioner who will notify Facebook to prevent any instances of the image being uploaded after the notification has been actioned.

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner is the only Australian Government agency taking part in this important pilot, which was borne from a Global Working Group established by Facebook to engage governments and businesses on keeping people safe online.

“We’ve been participating in the Global Working Group to identify new solutions to keep people safe, and we’re proud to partner with Facebook on this important initiative as it aims to empower Australians to stop image-based abuse in its tracks,” said Julie Inman Grant, eSafety Commissioner.

Facebook’s Head of Global Safety, Antigone Davis, said the pilot is an industry first, and builds on the non-consensual intimate images tool announced by Facebook in April that uses cutting-edge technology to prevent the re-sharing of images on its platforms.

“The safety and well-being of the Facebook community is our top priority,” Ms Davis said.

“As part of our continued efforts to better detect and remove content that violates our community standards, we’re using image matching technology to prevent non-consensual intimate images from being shared on Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Groups and Messenger.”
 
“These tools, developed in partnership with global safety experts, are one example of how we’re using new technology to keep people safe and prevent harm – one of five key areas of focus as we help to build a supportive, inclusive and safe global community.”
 
“This pilot has the potential to disable the control and power perpetrators hold over victims, particularly in cases of ex-partner retribution and sextortion, and the subsequent harm that could come to them,” says Inman Grant.

“This partnership gives Australians a unique opportunity to proactively inoculate themselves from future image-based abuse by coming to our portal and reporting tool,” adds Inman Grant.

“We’re pleased to work with the eSafety Commissioner as the only Australian representative on our working group on this important initiative, and applaud her leading role in promoting online safety across the country,” said Mia Garlick, Facebook’s Director of Policy A-NZ.

The US, UK and Canada are also participating in the pilot with Facebook.

For more information please visit: www.esafety.gov.au/image-based-abuse

Editors’ Note:
Adult Australians concerned that an intimate image may be shared online can complete an online form on the eSafety Commissioner's official website detailing their concerns.

Users will be asked to send the imagery to themselves on Messenger while the eSafety Commissioner's office notifies Facebook of their submission.

Once Facebook receive this notification, its community operations team will use image matching technology to prevent any instances of the image being uploaded or shared online.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Dominique Tomarchio
02 9334 7873 and 0427 178 689 or media@esafety.gov.au


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