NCMEC introduces tool to help minors fight online sharing of explicit images

In short: The proliferation of intimate images, especially images of minors, is one of the biggest problems associated with social media. Meta and several other groups have begun to offer people a way to stop the unwanted distribution of such images, promising complete privacy.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) announced This week, he’s partnering with several online platforms on a tool to help teens and others stop sharing their intimate photos. This measure is intended to be more proactive than conventional reporting systems.

Usually, when someone wants to stop the spread of their explicit image on the Internet, they have to look for copies of it and report each one. For many, this process is likely time-consuming, humiliating, and ultimately inefficient due to how quickly such content spreads.

Take It Down is a platform that tags such images with digital fingerprints, so participating services are currently including Facebook, Instagram, OnlyFans, Yubo and PornHub can automatically detect and remove them. This method has limitations, but can be more effective than conventional measures due to its proactive and automated nature.

If the user is concerned that an image or video of explicit content may be published on the Internet, he can select it and go to the page “Beginon the Take It Down website. From there, the service will generate a hash that will be used to identify exact copies, which the participating platforms will delete upon discovery.

The tool is primarily intended for minors, but adults can also use it for content created when they were minors. It is also available to everyone in the world.

Those worried about sharing their images with Take It Down should remember that assigning a digital fingerprint does not download content. It remains only on their device, the personnel working with Take It Down cannot view it, and the hash cannot be used to play it. In addition, the creation of a hash does not require the provision of any personal information.

However, in order to generate a hash for a video or image, they still need to be on the user’s device. Also, it cannot stop the spread of already uploaded images, but it can slow it down. Take It Down also cannot break the encryption. In addition, users should not attempt to upload images themselves after submitting them to the service, as this may result in them being banned from social networks.

NCMEC has additional services for those who want to combat the spread of their intimate images. The organization also runs CyberTipline for people who are threatened by explicit images. Anyone in need of mental health care can access the NCMEC Emotional Support Portal.

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