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Sextortion is a growing problem affecting people of all ages and backgrounds, and Facebook (now known as Meta) is one of the platforms where this type of harassment is rampant. It can be a horrifying situation to find yourself in, but there are things you can do to protect yourself and get help if you need it. Read on to find Facebook sextortion help on the platform and outside.
Sextortion on Facebook often begins with a request friend from someone you do not know or someone who pretends to know you. That person then initiates sexual conversations and sends explicit sexual images to you, hoping you reciprocate. Once a victim gives in, they threaten to release the photos or videos if you do not pay up or continue with their demands.
So, what’s Facebook’s role in all of this? For starters, the platform is the ideal tool for sextortion schemes. These criminals need a way to hide or disguise their identity, and the platform allows them to do that. It’s incredibly easy to create a fake identity on the platform; all these criminals need is a fake name and some stolen images they have found online.
It’s also challenging to locate these criminals online. Since they use false identities and most hide their IP location using VPNS. If these criminals ever feel like they might get caught, they can quickly delete their Facebook accounts, making it impossible to find them.
These criminals also can create dozens of fake Facebook accounts to carry out their crimes. If they are brought to delete their accounts or become banned from profile reports, these criminals will continue their sextortion attacks through their numerous other burner accounts.
Many Facebook sextortion cases are prolonged for a number of reasons. The first is that the victim does not report the crime. Most cases of online sextortion go unreported due to victims’ fear and embarrassment. This only benefits the sextortionist by allowing them to continue the abuse, demanding more money and other goods.
Another reason the harassment may continue is that the victim gave in to the demands of their sextortionist. Once this happens, this proves to the sextortionist that their threats are working, causing them to harass and coerce their victims into sending more money and goods.
Don’t let the fear and threats stop you from reaching for help! The only way to ensure the sextortion ceases to dictate your life is to report the crime to the authorities and contact help from cybercrime experts.
Meta has become aware of the growing cases of sextortion that transpire through its multiple platforms, including Instagram and WhatsApp, and does its best to educate its users on safety. You can head to their abuse center to find tips on online safety and resources to contact for help.
Since sextortion victims’ are often teens targeted through Meta’s platforms, Facebook and Instagram have joined Take It Down as founding members. A platform that helps prevent the spreading and exposure of young people’s intimate photos. Antigone Davis, the Global Head of Security, explains how the platform works, “Take It Down lets young people take back control of their intimate images. People can go to TakeItDown.NCMEC.org and follow the instructions to submit a case that will proactively search for their intimate images on participating apps.
Take It Down assigns a unique hash value — a numerical code — to their image or video privately and directly from their own device. Once they submit the hash to NCMEC, companies like ours can use those hashes to find any copies of the image, take them down, and prevent the content from being posted on our apps in the future.”
Facebook can remove the abuser’s accounts, ban them from the platform, and ultimately remove the explicit content, so it’s best to take advantage. However, as we mentioned, it doesn’t stop the sextortionist from creating a new burner account and continuing their harassment.
Facebook sextortion is a growing issue in today’s social media culture. We have to be aware of what we share online with others and learn how to avoid falling for devious scams and online exploitation. Yes, Facebook is working and doing its part to educate its users with essential information; however, it’s ultimately up to the victim to reach out, use resources, and get help to combat this crime. Facebook sextortion help is available! Be strong, and don’t let yourself stay a victim! Report Facebook sextortion today!
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