Meta supports platform against the distribution of images of minors

by Ana Lopez

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) recently launched Take it down — a site designed to help stop the online proliferation of illegal images of young people. NCMEC was assisted by a heavyweight ally, Meta. The social media giant announced the partnership in a blog post published Monday.

Meta’s announcement noted that teens’ personal, intimate images are sometimes used in “sextortion” — extorting more photos, sex, or money from the victim. It continued:

Take It Down lets young people take back control of their intimate images. People can go to TakeItDown.NCMEC.org and follow the instructions to file a case that proactively searches for their intimate images on participating apps. Take It Down assigns a unique hash value to their image or video privately and directly from their own device. Once they submit the hash to NCMEC, companies like ours can use those hashes to find copies of the image, remove them, and prevent the content from being posted to our apps in the future.

Meta went on to say that Take It Down was designed with the company’s financial backing. It is also built to respect victims’ privacy and overall data security. Users only need to submit a hash (encoded), not a full image or video, to NCMEC.

Take It Down will be heavily promoted on Facebook and Instagram, with the platforms working to make it a feature in their reporting tools.

The announcement highlighted Meta’s zero-tolerance policy regarding the exploitation of youth. It stated that Facebook and Instagram are working to prevent this content, inappropriate interactions between young people and suspicious accounts that could use it.

Meta said it provides resources for teens to advise them on the potential downsides of taking intimate photos. In addition, it has developed more than 30 tools in its signature apps that aim to support the safety of teens and families.

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