Meta is stepping up its efforts to safeguard teenagers on its platforms from sextortion, a form of sexual exploitation that threatens to share private intimate images without consent. According to TechCrunch, the tech giant announced significant updates today, including the broader availability of the Take It Down tool and a comprehensive update to its Sextortion hub, alongside launching a worldwide campaign to educate and prevent sextortion.
Developed in collaboration with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), Take It Down is an innovative online tool aimed at halting the unauthorized distribution of intimate imagery. Initially available in English and Spanish, the tool’s reach has now expanded to include 25 additional languages, such as Hindi, Chinese, French, German, and Arabic, among others. This expansion makes the tool accessible to a wider global audience, empowering teens across different cultures and regions to protect their digital privacy.
Take It Down operates by allowing users to generate a unique hash—a digital fingerprint—of their intimate image or video, which can then be privately submitted from their device. This hash enables Meta to identify and remove copies of the content across its platforms, offering a proactive measure against the threat of sextortion. Importantly, the process ensures that the actual intimate content does not need to be shared, preserving the individual’s privacy.
To further support teens facing sextortion threats, Meta has revamped its Sextortion hub with updated guidance. This includes practical advice for teens on regaining control and resources for parents to assist their children effectively. The updated guidance was developed in partnership with Thorn, a nonprofit dedicated to leveraging technology to protect children from sexual abuse.
Recognizing the importance of awareness in combating sextortion, Meta is also launching a global campaign. The initiative aims to educate teens and their parents about the dangers of sextortion and the steps they can take to protect themselves. Meta plans to collaborate with safety organizations and content creators to amplify the campaign’s reach and impact.
These efforts by Meta come in the wake of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony at a Senate hearing, where the issue of sextortion and its devastating consequences were brought to the forefront. The hearing highlighted the urgent need for social media platforms to take decisive action in protecting young users from online abuse.