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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Can You Block Porn On Messaging Apps?

    Is there a way to filter out porn/adult images from popular messaging apps like Telegram, WhatsApp, or FB messenger, on Windows and Android? I sometimes get sent them as a joke, but I don't like having them around.
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful — but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

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    Default Re: Can You Block Porn On Messaging Apps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    Is there a way to filter out porn/adult images from popular messaging apps like Telegram, WhatsApp, or FB messenger, on Windows and Android? I sometimes get sent them as a joke, but I don't like having them around.
    I don't know, but I doubt it, since receiving unsolicited pictures of male genitalia continues to be a problem for any number of woman. If there was an easy way to prevent this in any social media, it would probably be common knowledge. And I also cannot think how it would work in practice. There is no easy way to tell pornographic images from regular images.

    Can you not delete them as they appear?

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    Default Re: Can You Block Porn On Messaging Apps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    Is there a way to filter out porn/adult images from popular messaging apps like Telegram, WhatsApp, or FB messenger, on Windows and Android? I sometimes get sent them as a joke, but I don't like having them around.
    Besides blocking whoever sends them? I donlt think that's technically possible. "I know it when I see it" isn't a computer-friendly criterion.
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    Default Re: Can You Block Porn On Messaging Apps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Besides blocking whoever sends them? I donlt think that's technically possible. "I know it when I see it" isn't a computer-friendly criterion.
    If you're in the business of trying to separa6the porn from the art from the erotica from the medical diagrams from the whatever else has pictures of naked people in it, this is true.

    If you just want to filter out pictures of naked people engaged in naked person activities, this is substantially easier. That's just image classification, which Google, Microsoft, Facebook et al do all the time with high specificity and sensitivity. And they do exactly this for safe search, with a reasonably high rate of success. I don't know of any plugins for chat apps that solve this problem (I can imagine some pretty fierce security issues with trying to implement such a thing), but this problem is in principle substantially solvable.
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    When they shot him down on the highway,
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    Default Re: Can You Block Porn On Messaging Apps?

    I think most messenger apps have options as to who can send you messages. Friends only, or friends of friends. They almost all have options as to whether or not you are visible to others, aka can be searched, and that is how the spammer bots find people.
    So I would say check privacy settings and whitelists. I know if people I don't know send me messages on FB I have to search to find them.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Vinyadan's Avatar

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    Default Re: Can You Block Porn On Messaging Apps?

    I have started deleting them as they come

    These are actually people I know; we don't have beef against each other, the nude pictures (not of themselves, thankfully) are sent for laughs.

    The problem is that I'd rather avoid pulling my phone out in public to get a fat genitalia pic shining on my screen.

    I can just talk to them, I guess, although there also is the matter of groups, where I'm not the only recipient, and in general I'd prefer a solution on my end.

    It is surprising that apps awash in money don't offer such a service, however. Women, parents, harassment victims, and generally people who'd rather not find embarassing pics could all use something like this. Especially now that communication (catcalling, slurs, general indecency) is under a heavier scrutiny than it once was.

    By the way, I searched for "block _____ pics" on google. It asked me if I wanted to search for "black _____ pics" instead.
    Last edited by Vinyadan; 2021-01-23 at 03:18 AM.

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    Default Re: Can You Block Porn On Messaging Apps?

    Maybe instead of seeking a technological solution, you should ask your friends about putting the more 18+ stuff in spoilers from now on? At least on apps that support such.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Can You Block Porn On Messaging Apps?

    Some social media apps like Twitter and Discord offer an option like this, and they're actually really good at filtering a lot of stuff out, including risqué pics of your elbow.

    None of the popular messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal,... have one, afaik. Unfortunately.

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    Default Re: Can You Block Porn On Messaging Apps?

    You can disable the automatic download of media on WhatsApp, most likely also in other messaging apps. A blurry preview is at least an improvement on the genitalia in their full glory.


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    Default Re: Can You Block Porn On Messaging Apps?

    I wonder, can it be that end-to-end encryption is the reason why such a filter doesn't exist?
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful — but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Can You Block Porn On Messaging Apps?

    I imagine that's an extra hurdle. The media that I listed that do have them, don't have end-to-end encryption and (at least in the Twitter App's case) rely on a central server to recognise and filter the images.
    There's image recognition apps that work completely client-side (because they don't need an internet connection) but that might be a challenge to include in a messaging app without performance issues.

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    Default Re: Can You Block Porn On Messaging Apps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mephit View Post
    I imagine that's an extra hurdle. The media that I listed that do have them, don't have end-to-end encryption and (at least in the Twitter App's case) rely on a central server to recognise and filter the images.
    There's image recognition apps that work completely client-side (because they don't need an internet connection) but that might be a challenge to include in a messaging app without performance issues.
    I don't think the performance hit would be all that bad; training an image classifier is extremely expensive in terms of time and energy, but running it on any given image is pretty cheap. Maybe it adds a quarter second or something between receiving and displaying the image, but unless you're constantly inundated in images it's probably not a huge deal.

    The bigger issue is that a third party image filter app would need extremely deep access to the messenger app in order to meaningfully function, since it would need to

    1) determine if a message contained an image
    2) if it does, pull out the image and delay delivery of the message
    3) classify the image
    4) if the image is clean, allow it through, otherwise block it

    Basically the filter app would need to run the messenger app like an ant with Cordyceps, and for fairly obvious reasons if you're writing a messenger app you probably don't want to make it easy for people to do this sort of stuff.
    Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
    When they shot him down on the highway,
    Down like a dog on the highway,
    And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.


    Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman, 1906.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Can You Block Porn On Messaging Apps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    I wonder, can it be that end-to-end encryption is the reason why such a filter doesn't exist?
    Computers have two ways of telling if a picture is porn
    • It's tagged as porn
    • It's analyzed through machine learning

    If it's tagged then it's just following the tag and only as reliable as the tag. Tagging is done manually.
    If it's machine learning then you need to have google's server farm at your disposal. (or the equivalent). They're less reliable than a person and not viable to do in real time on a smartphone.

    It's probably possible to make a nude-detector app but it would be really bad and very easily fooled.
    Black text is for sarcasm, also sincerity. You'll just have to read between the lines and infer from context like an animal

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Can You Block Porn On Messaging Apps?

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    I don't think the performance hit would be all that bad; training an image classifier is extremely expensive in terms of time and energy, but running it on any given image is pretty cheap. Maybe it adds a quarter second or something between receiving and displaying the image, but unless you're constantly inundated in images it's probably not a huge deal.

    The bigger issue is that a third party image filter app would need extremely deep access to the messenger app in order to meaningfully function, since it would need to

    1) determine if a message contained an image
    2) if it does, pull out the image and delay delivery of the message
    3) classify the image
    4) if the image is clean, allow it through, otherwise block it

    Basically the filter app would need to run the messenger app like an ant with Cordyceps, and for fairly obvious reasons if you're writing a messenger app you probably don't want to make it easy for people to do this sort of stuff.
    It needn't be third party though, I was pontificating more along the lines of the app having this function natively. Discord has such an option, for instance. It's a really convenient thing to have on there with how many minors use it.

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    Default Re: Can You Block Porn On Messaging Apps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    Computers have two ways of telling if a picture is porn
    • It's tagged as porn
    • It's analyzed through machine learning

    If it's tagged then it's just following the tag and only as reliable as the tag. Tagging is done manually.
    If it's machine learning then you need to have google's server farm at your disposal. (or the equivalent). They're less reliable than a person and not viable to do in real time on a smartphone.

    It's probably possible to make a nude-detector app but it would be really bad and very easily fooled.
    Bumble has one of some sort, basically to stop guys from sending unwanted nudes to women. I think it basically looks for eggplant shaped items and then flags the image, the lady can then decide whether to look at it or not.
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    Default Re: Can You Block Porn On Messaging Apps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mephit View Post
    It needn't be third party though, I was pontificating more along the lines of the app having this function natively. Discord has such an option, for instance. It's a really convenient thing to have on there with how many minors use it.
    Right, but Discord has everybody connecting to a central server, which hosts all the content. Since everything lives there, it's easy to do whatever Discord wants to the content. I'm guessing that the server also gets to see the unencrypted data, with any encryption they employ protecting data sent from the user to the server, then again from the server to the user.

    If your messenger is truly peer to peer (which most aren't) or runs end to end encryption, then this isn't possible, since there either isn't a server, or the server can't read what its passing along. Basically if you want your message to be meaningfully private, you can't add a content filter to it. Or at least one that doesn't operate locally.
    Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
    When they shot him down on the highway,
    Down like a dog on the highway,
    And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.


    Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman, 1906.

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    Default Re: Can You Block Porn On Messaging Apps?

    I'm pretty sure machine cannot differentiate nude people from sandy dunes of the desert, it's a long way too go
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