Monday, May 23, 2011

Facebook making a PR move with Microsoft's PhotoDNA technology

Facebook took a positive step forward a couple of days back in order to further shake its reputation for being bad about privacy. Partnering with Microsoft, Facebook is to implement Microsoft's PhotoDNA technology, designed to identify and remove images that exploit or endanger children.

What this means is, every time you upload a picture on your Facebook account (billions of pictures are uploaded each month by Facebook's approximately 600 million users, by the way, onto the social networking site), a search through billions of other images to locate photos with similarly inappropriate features will take place in the back-end. If you're caught uploading something inappropriate, repercussions will undoubtedly follow.

Now you're probably thinking, wow, this is great! Facebook is a hero! We love you, Facebook, for being so socially responsible!

While I applaud Facebook for taking this initiative, my inquisitive side is left wondering about the true motives behind this act. PhotoDNA technology has been around for a while, according to Microsoft itself, which has been using it for its search engine, online storage, and email services. So why is Facebook doing this now?

And then it occurred to me! Unless you've been living under a rock these past couple of weeks, or if you are not a tech nerd like me and therefore do not follow tech news (in which case, I don't know why you are even looking at this blog!), you might have come across a scandal: Facebook was exposed in a smear campaign against its greatest rival, Google.

Now, I'm not trying to ruffle any feathers, but I just think that Facebook's motives for engaging in this initiative may not be altogether altruistic. This may very well be nothing more than a PR move.

I'm just saying....


  1. Nice thought...

    I am looking at facebook as one of the best learning tool in teaching and learning process. Recently i gone through the book i.e Facebook for Educators. See the power of Web 2.0 technologies in Education we called ICT in Education.

  2. I am also a firm believer in the "learning as a social process" idea, and certainly Facebook does make it easy to socialize online and learn. My point with this post, however, is that perhaps Facebook has some motives of its own, which are not so noble.