Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Facebook wants your nudes. That's what many articles say online, so we did some fact checking and sent an email to Facebook asking if this were true.
According to a Facebook spokesperson we were told that yes, Facebook is collecting "intimate" photos in an Australian Pilot Program.
"This is a pilot program that allows users who are concerned that their intimate images will be shared on Facebook's services without consent," the spokesperson said.
Users can complete an online eSafety Commissioner's form detailing their concerns and then send the images to themselves through Facebook's Messenger App. Once Facebook receives the notification from the Australian Office of the eSafety Commissioner, they say that they will "prevent any instances of the image being uploaded or shared online."
We can verify this is true, but we had a few more questions. Is a Facebook employee looking at the images someone sends or is it a computer? If someone hacks your profile will they have access to the "intimate" photos that you've sent through Messenger? And what precautions is Facebook taking to protect these images from outside hackers?
We were told that a "trained community operations team reviews the photo to confirm that the image is a violation of Facebook's policies." If it does violate policies, the photo is assigned a "fingerprint", which means that if that image is uploaded again, it is run through a database of "fingerprints" and if it matches Facebook will prevent it from being shared. Facebook also told us that they tell "…the person who uploaded the photo to delete it from their Messenger Thread."
Verify is just one part of our commitment at News 19 to show you how we report the news and who we talk to along the way. If you have a story that you want us to verify let us know on social media or send an email to verify@WLTX.com