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Yes, your photos and links on Messenger are scanned by Facebook

Yes, your photos and links on Messenger are scanned by Facebook
Yes, your photos and links on Messenger are scanned by Facebook

Facebook scans links and photos exchanged on Messenger to prevent abusive behavior.

For those who thought that Facebook’s chat conversations are completely private, you should know this: messages exchanged on Messenger are “scanned” by the social network.

It should not even be a scoop

But the subject became topical after an interview with Mark Zuckerberg Vox in which the CEO of Facebook spoke about the conflict in Myanmar between Muslims and Buddhists.

Facebook has detected that people are trying to spread sensational messages like, “Hey, there’s a Buddhist uprising, so make sure you’re armed and go to this place,” in each camp. “In this case, our systems detect that this is happening. We stop these messages, “said Mark Zuckerberg.

After the publication of this interview, people have realized that private messages on Messenger are ultimately not as private as they thought.

And this week, Facebook has confirmed to CNN and Bloomberg that it uses an automated system to detect abuse. According to Bloomberg’s explanations, Messenger scans the links as well as the images exchanged and can read the messages when they are reported to the moderators (the latter then check if the content complies with the rules of the platform).

“For example, on Messenger, when you send a photo, our automated systems scan it using photo matching technology to detect known child exploitation images, or when you send a link, we scan it to detect malware or viruses, “said a spokesman. “Facebook has designed these automated tools so that we can quickly stop abusive behavior on our platform.” But the social network ensures that it does not allow him to target ads. And he does not listen to audio or video calls.

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In the case of Myanmar, Facebook explains that many people have reported these messages inciting violence, which led the social network to investigate.

Use the “secret” mode

We can understand that Facebook has a device in place to prevent abuse. And as explained by the social network, it is very similar to those of other companies.

But if you want more privacy, you can use Messenger’s “secret” mode which offers a higher level of protection through end-to-end encryption (normally, this means that only the correspondents can read the contents of the messages and that these are encrypted and unreadable on Facebook’s servers).

Unfortunately, this “secret” mode is not enabled by default on Messenger.

Other services, such as Signal or Telegram, offer end-to-end encryption by default.

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