Report: Facebook ‘Flooded’ with Revenge Porn, ‘Sextortion’

Facebook assessed nearly 54,000 cases of revenge porn and “sextortion” on the platform in a single month, according to a report by the Guardian.

“Figures shared with staff reveal that in January Facebook had to disable more than 14,000 accounts related to these types of sexual abuse – and 33 of the cases reviewed involved children,” the Guardian reported on Monday. “The company relies on users to report most abusive content, meaning the real scale of the problem could be much greater.”

“Sexual policy is the one where moderators make most mistakes,” said one source to the newspaper. “It is very complex.”

This sentiment was mirrored by Facebook’s head of global policy management, Monika Bickert, who also claimed that the situation was “complex.”

“We constantly review and improve our policies,” said Bickert. “These are complex areas but we are determined to get it right.”

In their report, the Guardian added that “One slide showed that in January moderators alerted senior managers to 51,300 potential cases of revenge pornography, which it defines as attempts to use intimate imagery to shame, humiliate or gain revenge against an individual.”

“In addition, Facebook escalated 2,450 cases of potential sextortion – which it defines as attempts to extort money, or other imagery, from an individual,” they continued. “This led to a total of 14,130 accounts being disabled. Sixteen cases were taken on by Facebook’s internal investigations teams.”

Besides non-consensual sex, sextortion, and revenge porn, leaked documents from Facebook also revealed the phrases and sentences that are both banned and allowed.

“Moderate displays of sexuality, open-mouthed kissing, [and] clothed simulated sex and pixelated sexual activity,” are all allowed on the platform, while phrases like “I’m gonna f*ck you,” “I’m gonna eat that p*ssy,” and “Hello ladies, wanna suck my c*ck?” are also accepted.

If users go into more detail or start to become aggressive, however, then Facebook advises its moderators to implement sanctions.

In April, Facebook introduced an anti-revenge porn program that will be able to detect previously-flagged images and stop users from posting them.

“If someone tries to share a photo that Facebook has previously taken down, that person will see a pop-up saying the photo violates Facebook’s policies and that Facebook will not allow the person to share that particular photo on Facebook, Messenger or Instagram,” explained Tech Crunch last month. “Facebook has also partnered with a handful of organizations, like the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative and the Revenge Porn Helpline, to offer support to people who are victims of revenge porn.”

In March, a revenge porn victim’s lawyer claimed micro-blogging site Tumblr had “chosen to ignore” revenge porn images posted on the platform after it allegedly took three weeks to get a video of the then-17-year-old victim removed from the site.

“In my opinion, Tumblr has chosen to ignore valid legal demands because they earn more money using victims’ photographs as clickbait than they do protecting minors,” said lawyer Daniel Szalkiewicz, whose firm specializes in Internet defamation and revenge porn cases.

Upon investigation, Breitbart Tech also discovered numerous accounts on Tumblr that specialized in trying to find and shame the victims seen in revenge porn, most of which had been up for numerous weeks without deletion.

Charlie Nash is a reporter for Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington or like his page at Facebook.