Facebook Thailand launches ‘Take It Down’ to combat sextortion

Photo courtesy of The Nation

To combat online exploitation, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, unveils the Take It Down programme in Thailand. Aimed at empowering teens to reclaim their digital privacy, the initiative marks a pivotal step in the fight against sextortion.

In a press conference held at Meta’s Thailand office, Malina Enlund, Meta’s APAC Safety Policy Manager, highlighted the significance of the programme.

“For today’s Internet users, having an intimate image shared with others can be devastating, especially for young people.”

The initiative, developed in collaboration with the National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), offers a lifeline to millions of teens globally, including those in Thailand, where the prevalence of online sexual abuse remains a pressing concern.

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Originally launched in English and Spanish, this pioneering platform enables individuals aged 18 and below to remove and prevent the dissemination of intimate images. It is now being expanded to encompass 25 languages across multiple countries, thereby extending its reach to millions of teenagers worldwide, including those in Thailand.

At a media briefing session hosted at Meta’s Thailand office, Malina Enlund, Meta’s APAC Safety Policy Manager, underscored the company’s commitment to combating sextortion.

“For today’s Internet users, having an intimate image shared with others can be devastating, especially for young people. As part of our commitment to the safety and well-being of its users, Meta has worked closely with numerous organisations and creators around the world to help teens take back control of their intimate images.”

The Take It Down programme is designed to respect users’ privacy and data security. Users can visit its website to commence the process, which involves assigning a unique hash, a digital fingerprint, to their image or video securely from their device. This hash, rather than the image itself, is submitted to NCMEC, enabling platforms like Meta to locate and remove copies of the image.

Police support

The initiative has garnered support from various quarters, including the law enforcement sector. Police Colonel Runglert Kantajan from Thailand Internet Crimes Against Children (TICAC) highlighted the pervasive nature of sexual abuse online and stressed the need for collaborative efforts between stakeholders to combat these crimes effectively.

Wirawan Mosby, Founder and Director of the HUG Project, emphasised the critical role of government and private sector collaboration in addressing the issue of sextortion.

“The leaking of intimate images or videos online can cause major life crises for victims.”

In addition to the Take It Down programme, Meta has collaborated with Thorn, a nonprofit focused on defending children from sexual abuse, to develop resources for teens affected by sextortion. These resources, available in over 50 languages including Thai, offer guidance for victims and support networks, reported The Nation.

Meta has also implemented additional safety measures on its platforms, including Safety Notices on Instagram to alert users to potentially suspicious behaviour. Furthermore, default message settings on Instagram have been tightened to protect minors from unwanted contact.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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