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Facebook Open Sources Two Video- and Photo-Matching Tools
With the goal of preventing harmful content, Facebook offers technology that can identify and block photos and videos as quickly as they're uploaded.

With the goal of making the internet a little safer, Facebook announced it's open sourcing two video- and photo-matching tools. Called PDQ and TMK+PDQF, they help sites find duplicates or near duplicates of harmful content then stop those files from being shared. Facebook uses these tools to block identified content that shows child exploitation, terrorist propaganda, and graphic violence.  

News 1The video-matching tool is TMK+PDQF, and it was created by Facebook's Artificial Intelligence Research team, with assistance from experts at Italy's University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. Both tools work by storing identified files as digital fingerprints called hashes, which are easy to share and compare. Also, both tools are flexible enough to find near-duplicate files that have been slightly modified. Facebook shares the hashes it creates with industry partners so they can easily remove the same offensive content.

"We designed these technologies based on our experience detecting abuse across billions of posts on Facebook," wrote Antigone Davis, global head of safety, and Guy Rosen, vice president of integrity at Facebook, in a blog post. "We hope that by contributing back to the community we’ll enable more companies to keep their services safe and empower non-profits that work in the space."

Facebook is sharing the technology on GitHub.

Image: Facebook is hosting the fourth annual Child Safety Hackathon in its Menlo Park, California, headquarters in a few days. This image shows the 2018 event.

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