Meta has revealed new measures to help stop the spread of young people’s intimate images online on Instagram and Facebook. Take It Down, a platform developed by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), is being supported by the two social media sites to prevent intimate images from being shared in the future.
Taking Back Control
It can be frightening and overwhelming when an intimate image is shared without consent, particularly for young people. Sextortion refers to when someone attempts to use those images to demand more images, sexual contact or money. Take It Down is a service which allows young people to regain control of their intimate images.
Users can visit TakeItDown.NCMEC.org and follow the provided instructions to submit a case. A unique numerical code known as a “hash” is generated from their own device and submitted to NCMEC. Companies use the hash to locate copies of the image, take them down, and prevent them from being posted on apps in the future.
Take It Down
Take It Down is a platform that respects users’ privacy and data security. Rather than submitting intimate images or videos, users only submit a hash – a secure digital fingerprint created by coding the images or videos. This way, the images or videos can no longer be viewed.
Who Can Use ‘Take It Down’?
Take It Down is available to people of all ages, and is useful for:
- Young people under 18 who are concerned their content has been or will be posted online
- Parents or trusted adults on behalf of a young person
- Adults who are worried about images taken of them when they were under 18
The company said that Take It Down was designed with Meta’s financial support. We are working with NCMEC to promote Take It Down on our platforms and integrating it into Facebook and Instagram for easy access when reporting potential violations.
This builds on the success of platforms like StopNCII, launched in 2021 with SWGfL and 70+ NGOs worldwide, to help adults stop the spread of their intimate images online (known as “revenge porn”).
Meta and Young People
Meta doesn’t allow any content or behavior that exploits young people, such as posting intimate images or sextortion activities. To prevent this, they have set teens’ accounts to the most private Facebook and Instagram, and they have made it easier to report suspicious content.
They have also introduced new features on Instagram that make it more difficult for suspicious adults to interact with teens. If a suspicious adult follows a teen account, the teen will receive a notification to remove them.
Meta educates teens about the dangers of engaging with adults they don’t know online and prompt them to review and restrict their privacy settings. When a teen is tagged, mentioned, or has their content included in a post, they’ll get a notification to review their privacy settings. This gives them the option to restrict further interactions.
Meta’s Safety Tools
Meta has created more than 30 tools to protect teens and families on its apps, including supervision tools for parents and age-verification technology to keep teens’ online experiences age-appropriate.
In addition, it offers resources to teens about the potential harms of taking intimate images and how to in stopping the spread of that content. Parents can find more information about how to keep their teens safe online in the Safety Center and Family Center.
Speaking on the announcement, Antigone Davis, Global Head of Safety, Meta, said
We’re announcing that Facebook and Instagram are founding members of Take It Down, a new platform designed to proactively prevent young people’s intimate images from spreading online.