Miscellaneous Social Media

Facebook Testing Tools to Stop Misuse of Profile Photos

Facebook is testing a new feature in India in a bid to halt the theft of people’s profile pictures.

The new tool, launched today, gives the social network’s users more control over who can download and share their profile images.

“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,” Facebook said in a blog post. “We’re exploring ways people can more easily add designs to profile pictures, which our research has shown helpful in deterring misuse.”

Based on the testing done in India, Facebook “hopes” to bring the tool to other countries “soon.”

Indian Facebook users will now see a step-by-step guide to add an optional profile picture guard. The guard prevents others from downloading, sharing or sending one’s profile picture in a message on Facebook. Profile pictures using the shield will display a blue border as a visual sign it is protected.

People will not be able to tag anyone, including themselves in profile pictures that are protected unless they are friends with the user. Facebook also said it will try to prevent people from taking a screenshots of protected profile pictures as well.

“Based on preliminary tests, we’ve learned that when someone adds an extra design layer to their profile picture, other people are at least 75 percent less likely to copy that picture,” Facebook said. “If someone suspects that a picture marked with one of these designs is being misused, they can report it to Facebook and we will use the design to help determine whether it should be removed from our community.”

To learn more about the new tool, check out the video below.

About the author


Jennifer Cowan

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.