Google’s Fight Against Revenge Porn

By on June 19, 2015

Google has finally taken a firm stance against revenge porn. The company announced that it will honor requests for image takedowns from people who are the victims of this digital act. Revenge porn happens when people post sexually explicit pictures of people online as an act of retribution — often against someone they dated.

Over the last few years websites have formed as repositories for people to post these photos. Lawyers and activists have been working fervently criminalize this behavior. Most recently, a man who ran one of these revenge porn sites was sentenced to 18 years in prison. While states have been slowly drafting laws to combat people who post these photos, tech companies have had a difficult tightrope to walk.

Now Google has made a formal decision. It writes:

“So going forward, we’ll honor requests from people to remove nude or sexually explicit images shared without their consent from Google Search results. This is a narrow and limited policy, similar to how we treat removal requests for other highly sensitive personal information, such as bank account numbers and signatures, that may surface in our search results.”

The company says that very soon, it will post a web form for revenge porn victims to fill out. While this doesn’t solve the problem — Google admits that taking these photos away from search results doesn’t remove them from the websites themselves — this is a pivotal point for all those working to end this disturbing practice.

I guess bitter exes have to come up with a new to dish out some revenge!

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