Facebook Wages War on Impersonators

Facebook Wages War on Impersonators
Facebook is harnessing the power of facial recognition to spot impersonators who upload bogus profile pictures.

(CCM) — Facebook is unleashing its facial recognition technology to help fight people who impersonate others on the social network, the company has announced.

Starting soon, Facebook will notify a user if the facial recognition technology thinks that their face has been uploaded by someone else and used as a bogus profile picture. This will enable the user to notify Facebook that the account is a fake and should be closed down.

Facebook will also use its facial recognition technology to notify a user if someone posts a picture containing their face, even if they have not been tagged in the photo. "You’re in control of your image on Facebook and can make choices such as whether to tag yourself, leave yourself untagged, or reach out to the person who posted the photo if you have concerns about it," said Joaquin Quiñonero Candela, Facebook's director of applied machine learning. However, users will not receive a notification if they would not normally be able to see the photo.

Some commentators have expressed fears that this feature could be used to harass or bully people, because users will be notified if they appear in a photo uploaded by someone who is not their friend, as long as they have one friend in common and the photo's audience is set to "everyone."

The technology will also be used by screen readers for visually impaired people to enable them to know who appears in photos in their News Feed even if those people are not tagged.

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