BrandArena: Empowering Teens to Combat Sextortion Scams

Wednesday 7 February 2024

Empowering Teens to Combat Sextortion Scams

In today's digital age, the threat of sextortion scams looms large, especially for young people. The devastation caused by having personal intimate images shared without consent is immeasurable, and the coercion tactics employed by scammers only exacerbate the distress. Recognizing the urgent need to address this criminal activity, Meta is announcing new initiatives aimed at equipping teens, parents, and educators with the tools and resources to prevent and combat sextortion.

Partnering with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), Meta has expanded the Take It Down program to include more countries and languages. Take It Down empowers teens to reclaim control of their intimate images and prevents their unauthorized distribution online. By assigning a unique hash to their images or videos, individuals can securely and privately flag them for removal, without ever sharing the content itself. This expansion ensures that millions more teens worldwide can access this vital resource, offering them protection and peace of mind.

John Shehan, Senior Vice President at NCMEC, emphasized the significance of this expansion, stating, "Making Take it Down available in 25 languages is a pivotal step towards safeguarding children from the horrors of online exploitation all over the world." The program builds upon the success of platforms like StopNCII, which combats the sharing of adults' intimate images online.

In addition to expanding Take It Down, Meta has collaborated with Thorn, a nonprofit dedicated to defending children from sexual abuse, to provide updated guidance on preventing and handling sextortion. These resources, available in Meta's Safety Center, offer practical advice for teens, parents, and teachers navigating these challenging situations. Kelbi Schnabel, Senior Manager at Thorn, praised the collaboration, highlighting its empowering impact on parents and teens alike.

To raise awareness of sextortion scams and empower teens to protect themselves, Meta is launching a global campaign in partnership with safety organizations and creators worldwide. Through these concerted efforts, Meta reaffirms its commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of young people on its platforms, providing them with the support and resources they need to navigate the digital world safely.

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