• Monday, May 27, 2024
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Meta to protect minors from ‘sextortion’ with AI

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Meta has said that it is developing new tools to protect teenage users from sextortion scams on Instagram.

The firm said that the new tools will leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI). Extortion scams have been prevalent lately. Meta disclosed it is testing an AI-driven nudity protection tool that would find and blur images containing nudity that are sent to minors on the app’s messaging system.

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“This way, the recipient is not exposed to unwanted intimate content and has the choice to see the image or not,” Capucine Tuffier, who oversees child protection at Meta France, told AFP.

The US company said it would also offer advice and safety tips to anyone sending or receiving such messages. Over 3,000 young people fell prey to sexploitation scams in 2022. Also, over 40 states in the US sued Meta in October, claiming that the firm profited from the children’s pain.

Meta announced in January that it would roll out measures to protect under-18s, including tightening content restrictions and boosting parental supervision tools.

The firm said tools are built on “our long-standing work to help protect young people from unwanted or potentially harmful contact.”

“We’re testing new features to help protect young people from sextortion and intimate image abuse and to make it more difficult for potential scammers and criminals to find and interact with teens,” the firm noted.

It added that the nudity protection tool used on-device machine learning, a kind of AI, to analyse images.

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In 2021, Frances Haugen, a former Facebook engineer, published research carried out internally by Meta, showing that the company had long been aware of the dangers its platforms posed for the mental health of young people.