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Facebook and Instagram Support New “Take It Down” Platform Used to Protect Minors

Facebook and Instagram Support New “Take It Down” Platform Used to Protect Minors

A new web tool called “Take It Down,” created to combat child exploitation, has gained the support of Facebook, Instagram and other social media services.


“Take It Down” works by allowing users to attach a hash value or digital footprint to any intimate or explicit images and videos on their devices. “When tech platforms sign up to participate, they are provided these hash values, so they can detect and remove the imagery on their public or unencrypted sites and apps,” the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) said. “This all happens without the image or video ever leaving a device or anyone viewing it.” 


The NCMEC claims this will help “combat child sexual exploitation and help kids remove their sexually explicit images from the internet.” 


According to AP News, a spokesperson for the NCMEC, Gavin Portnoy, explained who should use “Take It Down” and why. “Take It Down is made specifically for people who have an image that they have reason to believe is already out on the Web somewhere, or that it could be,” he said. “You’re a teen and you’re dating someone and you share the image. Or somebody extorted you and they said, ‘if you don’t give me an image, or another image of you, I’m going to do X, Y, Z.’”


The site allows users to create a hash value anonymously, protecting their identity while allowing less involvement than reporting the photo to law enforcement.


Portnoy said the goal for Take It Down now is to have more companies sign up.

Image of female typing on smartphone.
Maggie Caraway