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Twitter to Use PhotoDNA Program to Eliminate Child Porn by Watermarking Offending Images

The program recognizes images known to be child pornography through a digital tracer and prevents them from being shared.

twitterbird

Twitter announced today that they would begin using Microsoft’s PhotoDNA service to crack down on images of child porn shared by users of the social media service. PhotoDNA creates a digital watermark of images known to contain child pornography. It then uses that watermark to identify copies of the image, and can prevent users from uploading them.

The announcement makes Twitter the second social media giant to license PhotoDNA technology — Facebook has been using it to monitor images since 2011. The software is also used by law enforcement officials todo reverse image searches that can help to track down posters of child porn and filter copies of material to prevent them from showing up on the Internet

Twitter’s announcement comes on the same day the United Kingdom announced new restrictions on Internet porn and blacklisted a number of particularly objectionable sites to prevent them from showing up in search listings, but it appears the two initiatives are not related to one another.

The technique for blocking child porn was developed by Microsoft and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and is similar in operation to the child porn tracking and watermarking system Google announced last month, which has us wondering — why don’t these two tech giants combine their forces on this matter, since it’s obviously important to both of them and an issue that people can universally agree needs to be dealt with?

I understand competitors remaining competitors even outside of business setting and not wanting to share technology, but when something that’s this much of a no-brainer comes along, maybe it’s time to put aside ill will and just work on something together because it’s the right thing to do and the people you’re both trying to help will be better off for it.

Just a thought, folks.

(via The Verge, The Guardian)

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