‘Take It Down:’ A new tool for teens to remove explicit pictures, videos
NEW YORK - A new online tool from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is giving teens the power to take down explicit images or videos. It's called "Take It Down."
We have heard the stories before – a teenager shares a sexually explicit picture or video of themselves with someone they know or someone they met online or on social media and the image is suddenly everywhere. But now, the agency says it has a tool that can help.
"The moment you become aware that an image is out there or a video that you may've shared or somebody may've found of you, you can go through the process," said Gavin Portnoy, with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
The process is free and is on the national center's website.
It creates a digital fingerprint of the sexually explicit picture or video, making it look like a set of numbers.
The fingerprint then goes into a database, so that platforms such as Facebook and Instagram can then be on alert for it.
‘Take it Down’ is giving teens the power to take down explicit images or videos.
"Who then work to remove that image from their systems and stop the upload of that imagery so that it never touches their platforms," Portnoy said.
Facebook's parent company, Meta, helped fund "Take It Down."
Other platforms participating with "Take It Down" are Yubo, Onlyfans and Pornhub. So far, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children says Twitter and TikTok are not.
"Take It Down" will not work, however, on videos or pictures that have been altered.
"If somebody has cropped the image or turned it into a meme or if they've put an emoji over the top of the image, it's technically a new image and ‘Take It Down’ will not work on that image," Portnoy said.
"It's a move in the right direction, and it certainly helps to have a major platform like Meta and Instagram as well on board with this," said Pedram Tabibi, a law professor and privacy attorney.