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Facebook Revenge Porn and 'Sextortion' -- Too Many Cases to Handle

'Sextortion' is what is sounds like, and you shouldn't have to see it to know it.

Likewise, 'revenge porn' is descriptive enough that you probably know what's wrong with that picture. In a time when pornography has reached virtually every corner of the internet, perhaps it is no surprise that sextortion and revenge porn are big problems for the family-friendly Facebook.

But 54,000 cases in a month on the website! Are you Facebook-kidding me?!

Illegal Porn

According to a leaked document, Facebook moderators had to look at nearly 54,000 cases of revenge porn and sextortion on the site in a single month. According to the Guardian, Facebook's policies on sexual content are tough for moderators to follow.

"Sexual policy is the one where moderators make most mistakes," the website reported. "It is very complex."

Justice Potter Stewart had trouble in 1964 defining obscenity, and regulating pornography is even more difficult today. In the United States, legislators are deciding what to do with the sub-species of revenge porn.

It involves people using compromising photos to shame another person, and Jackie Speier (D-CA) says that it has "ruined careers, families and even led to suicide." She is the lead author of The Intimate Privacy Protection Act, which would authorize prison terms of up to five years and fines for the posting online of sexually explicit photos or videos with "reckless disregard" for the consent of the subjects.

Facebook Rules

Facebook's policies prohibit revenge porn and sextortion, but there are literally too many cases for the company to handle. It depends on user complaints and moderators to follow up on them.

In January, for example, the company disabled 14,000 accounts for violating its rules on "intimate imagery." However, the site sees more than 1 billion visits a day and cannot monitor them all.

The company uses "image-matching" software to help in the task, but it also requires human decision-making. The Guardian published the company policies for moderators to use when investigating complaints.

Facebook allows images of "moderate displays of sexuality, open-mouthed kissing, clothed simulated sex and pixelated sexual activity" involving adults, as well as words describing explicit sexual activity. It does not allow, however, the same material for purposes of shaming or extorting anything from people.

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