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Image / Editorial

Goodbye unwanted dick pics: How AI may soon protect against cyber flashing


by Amanda Cassidy
19th Sep 2019
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Unsolicited and non-consensual interactions online are on the rise. But now, thanks to a wiley AI researcher, sexual harassment just got a whole lot harder…


Developer Kelsey Bressler was sick of waking up to unsolicited pictures of male genitals, which is why she decided to take matters into her own hands. Along with her friend, she’s created a tool that will automatically detect and remove explicit images.

The idea is to turn it into a plug in that will detect such material especially in DMs (Direct Messages) on social media. This week she told TNW, that although some platforms had such filters for explicit material, it often didn’t include private messages.

“When someone submits a photo that’s recognised as a penis, it gets deleted automatically”.

Fleshy appendage

But in order to feed the algorithm, Bressler has to teach it to recognise actual penises. “To test the tool, I’ve asked people to submit their 18+, consensual photos to me.”

So far, she has accumulated over 500 pictures of men’s private parts. And has even tested images of people putting fingers through their pants and penises ‘in disguise’.  She says she has been sent many, many pictures of Donald Trump which she now has to weed out.

Her trial account is playfully labelled as @ShowYoDiq, “for science”. Bressler’s tool isn’t yet widely available and is still undergoing testing. She hopes it can be rolled out to delete such content before the user has to.

Creep

But why do men send digital versions of their appendages? The first study of its kind, carried out of Kwantlen University in Canada found that such behaviour is linked to heightened levels of narcissism and sexism. “Men may find this exertion of power over women arousing itself, or they may find the shocked, hurt and angry reactions to be humorous or satisfying,” researchers wrote.

You may be wondering why companies haven’t already thought of this? Part of this is because the nonconsensual sharing of nudes in digital practice isn’t illegal (unlike if you get out your willy on the bus).

It seems that it is easier to be a creep online. And you don’t even need a trench coat.

Image via Unsplash.com

Read more: Is this why we are afraid of seeing period blood on TV?

Read more: Why sexual harassment claims at work have surged

Read more: Why are we still making excuses about sexual harassment?

 

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