Facebook has announced the release of a new tool aimed at preventing the misuse of profile pictures on the platform. This new tool is currently a part of a pilot program in India with expansion to other countries expected soon. It will basically prevent the downloading of the profile photo which would eventually be helpful in preventing the misuse.
In the post, Facebook said that this new tool will work like a profile picture guard and offer a number of controls to users. These include no option to download, share or send a profile picture via the message on the platform. It will prevent users who are not in your friend list from tagging themselves and anyone else. The team is also working on preventing profile pictures from getting screenshotted wherever possible but this is functionality is currently available only on Android devices.
All such profile pictures which will be protected by this feature will have a Blue border and shield around them to show that they are guarded by using the new tool. The team even collaborated with an illustrator to come up with Indian textile designs which can be added to the profile picture by users.
In the official announcement, Facebook’s Product Manager Aarati Soman said,
Profile pictures are an important part of building community on Facebook because they help people find friends and create meaningful connections. But not everyone feels safe adding a profile picture. In our research with people and safety organizations in India, we’ve heard that some women choose not to share profile pictures that include their faces anywhere on the internet because they’re concerned about what may happen to their photos.
While the feature is currently a pilot program and only available to a few selected users, Facebook said that it has noticed that people were 75% less likely to copy a profile picture with these features enabled because of the designed layer. It further said users will also be able to report if they come across any picture with these design layers and they suspect that it is being misused.