search

Anti-revenge porn tech launches in Hebrew, allowing digital tagging of images

Michal Sela Forum partners with Facebook parent company Meta to be Israel’s official representative of StopNCII technology, using digital fingerprints to identify media for removal

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

An illustrative photo of a person on a desktop (SanderStock via iStock by Getty Images)
An illustrative photo of a person on a desktop (SanderStock via iStock by Getty Images)

A new tool has been launched in Hebrew in an attempt to combat so-called “revenge porn,” allowing users to mark the media with a digital fingerprint to help prevent its dissemination on social media.

The StopNCII application aims to prevent non-consensual intimate images from being spread on the internet by enabling users to tag media with an identifying code that social media companies can use to spot the material and remove it.

The technology is operated by the UK’s Revenge Porn Helpline. The freshly launched Hebrew-language version of the technology can be found here.

In a statement, the Michal Sela Forum, which campaigns against violence against women, said that the organization had been chosen by Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta and the Revenge Porn Helpline for the launch of the technology with a Hebrew-language interface.

“It’s an innovative technology that will allow victims of the distribution of their intimate photos and videos, or those who fear that they may be harmed in the future by their sharing, to mark and remove them proactively, independently and anonymously from Facebook and Instagram,” the Michael Sela Forum said in a statement.

“This venture is further proof that creative thinking and technology can be used to prevent violence between intimate partners,” the forum said.

In this file photo taken on October 28, 2021, a pedestrian walks in front of a new logo and the name ‘Meta’ on the sign in front of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California. (JUSTIN SULLIVAN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)

The forum was set up to combat “domestic violence via technology and innovation.” Named after Michal Sela, who was murdered in her home by her husband in 2019, it was set up by her sister Lili Ben Ami in May 2020.

StopNCII is already available in range of languages for use in countries across the world where it is being promoted by dozens of other online safety organizations.

The free application works by creating a hash, or “digital fingerprint,” for the selected intimate images or video on the user’s device.

The hash is then sent to StopNCII.org, but not the media itself. Users are given a case number and PIN number for future reference and to allow them to track it.

Once media has a hash assigned to it, any copies of that media carrying the same hash enable it to be identified on social media if the content is shared.

Partnering companies can search for media that match the hash and remove them from the system if it violates their intimate image policies. StopNCII.org continues to periodically search for matches on websites after a case is opened.

For incidents of intimate content that are posted before it has been given a hash, StopNCII advises directly contacting the platform where it appears.

A WhatsApp photo of Michal Sela, who was found stabbed to death at her home outside Jerusalem on October 3, 2019

StopNCII is part of the Revenge Porn Helpline, established in 2015, and aims to introduce technologies to help individuals from becoming victims of non-consensual image abuse, according to its website.

“This new venture of technology offers victims a preventative tool, something which can only further support victims to feel empowered when online,” the website says.

The preventative tool was launched in the UK in December and is available for those over the age of 18.

“StopNCII.org represents a sea-change in the way those affected by intimate image abuse can protect themselves,” Sophie Mortimer, Revenge Porn Helpline Manager, said in a statement from Facebook at the time.

“At the heart of the work developing this tool have been the needs of victims and survivors by putting them in control without having to compromise their privacy,” she said.

In 2014, Israel became the first country to ban the distribution of so-called revenge porn in a bid to prevent the distribution of pornographic content over the internet.

The law, which targets sexually explicit media posted without the depicted person’s knowledge or consent, also covers content shared on social media. It stipulates that those found guilty of posting such content will be prosecuted as sex offenders, and that the offense is punishable by up to five years in prison.

read more:

We have a new, improved comments system. To comment, simply register or sign in.

Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed