Helpline experience has taught us that Facebook and Instagram are often a focus where perpetrators threaten to share intimate images and videos without consent. Facebook has a number of ways of tackling this and, most importantly, putting protections in place for victims of intimate image abuse.
What if my image has already been shared on Facebook or Instagram?
If the image that has been shared breaches Facebook’s community standards, you can report the user, posts or messages via these reporting tools:
What if someone is threatening to share my image or video to Facebook or Instagram?
We have a partnership with Facebook to help UK victims who are being threatened with having their intimate images or videos shared to Facebook, Facebook Messenger or Instagram. This service is called the ‘Facebook Pilot Partnership’. If you would like to be referred to this service, get in touch with the helpline. We will need to take your consent to be referred to. You will also need to provide us with the email address associated with your Facebook account and the URL link to your Facebook profile. If you do not have Facebook we can still go ahead without these details, but we will need a separate email address.
How does the pilot work?
After you have referred yourself to the Facebook Pilot Project, a helpline practitioner will put your information into a form which is sent to the Facebook Safety Team. The safety team will then send you a one-time-use-only secure link. You will then need to use this link to upload your own intimate images and videos (the ones that someone is threatening to share).
Please check your junk/spam inbox for the email. To avoid any difficulty with the process, it is best to copy and paste the link into your web browser (rather than clicking the link).
What happens next?
After you have uploaded your images or videos, they will be given a unique digital ‘hash’, which is a combination of numerical values. A digital hash prevents your intimate images and videos from being shared to Facebook, Facebook Messenger and Instagram. If someone tries to upload or send an image or video which has been hashed this action is blocked and the person is prevented from sharing the content.
However, if the images are amended in any way, through editing or use of filters, these will be classed as new images and will not be blocked by the hash.
How will I know if the hashing has worked?
You should hear back from the Facebook Safety Team who will explain what action was taken and whether the hashing was successful. If you don’t hear back within 72 working hours, you can get back in touch with the helpline for some further support.
Your hashed images or videos will be stored in a secure Media Match Service bank which only the Facebook Safety team have access to. Your images or videos will be destroyed automatically after 7 days.
What images and videos can be uploaded?
- Intimate images or videos which someone is threatening to share without your consent.
- The images or videos must be of you.
- The images or videos were taken when you were over the age of 18.
- The images or videos must be of an intimate nature (naked, showing genitals or wearing underwear in compromising positions).
- The original copies of the images/videos must be uploaded (not screenshots).
- The images or videos cannot have been shared previously to Facebook, Facebook Messenger or Instagram (and Instagram DMs).
- The images must be uploaded in a jpeg or png format. Videos must be uploaded as mov, mp4 or wmv.
What images and videos cannot be uploaded?
- Non-intimate images or images that do not breach Facebook's community standards.
- Screenshots of intimate texts or conversations.
- Edits of the original image
Find more information about Facebook's Not Without My Consent project and the Pilot on the Facebook Safety Centre here.