Facebook tackles revenge porn with professor’s help

 

Psychologist Asia Eaton is helping Facebook in its fight against revenge porn.

Eaton, other researchers, lawyers and victim advocates from around the world recently convened at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. to present the latest research and brainstorm solutions to help victims of online dating abuse, cyber harassment and non-consensual pornography or revenge porn.

Non-consensual porn, or the distribution of sexually graphic images of individuals without their consent, is a form of sexual violence. According to Eaton, Facebook has become one of the main avenues for distribution of these images, so the network is taking initiative to reduce and prevent abuse.

Psychologist Asia Eaton visited Facebook headquarters to share research on consequences of non-consensual pornography.

“Facebook is trying to be proactive about protecting potential and actual victims of non-consensual porn on their platform,” Eaton said. “Unfortunately, a great number of cases of non-consensual porn have been perpetrated using Facebook.”

Eaton is the head of research for the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, a non-profit organization fighting online abuse through advocating for technological, social and legal innovation. She discussed why people share intimate images without consent and the consequences this has for the victims and perpetrators.

According to Eaton, the important thing is to educate the individuals who exchange and receive sexual images about the fact that it is never OK to share these images without the consent of the people depicted.

“Sharing sexually-explicit images is a normative behavior in modern relationships,” Eaton said. “Trying to stop that form of sexual communication is not the answer. Instead, we have to educate people about the nature of consent.”

Her advice to Facebook is to use the platform to educate users about the nature of consent, the harm of violating consent and the laws in their state related to non-consensual sharing of intimate images.

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