Google to remove revenge porn from search results

Victims of revenge porn can soon contact Google to remove images

Google said it would soon create a process for victims of revenge porn to request the removal of private photographs from the search engine’s results.

Revenge porn is a digital phenomenon that entails the distribution of sexually explicit images without a person’s consent, typically as a form of retribution or blackmail.

In a blog post Friday, Google’s senior vice president for search, Amit Singhal, said the tech company would post a web form in the coming weeks where requests can be submitted to remove images.

“Our philosophy has always been that Search should reflect the whole web. But revenge porn images are intensely personal and emotionally damaging, and serve only to degrade the victims—predominantly women,” Singhal wrote.

Of course, the images will still remain on the Internet, but they’ll be much harder to find without the help of the world’s biggest search engine.

The new policy is not unlike existing rules that allow people to request the removal of sensitive personal information such as bank account numbers and signatures from Google’s search results, Singhal said.

Reddit, an online bulletin, has also cracked down on revenge porn, largely because of the dissemination of nude celebrity photos obtained by hackers.

Authorities have increasingly gone after violators.

A San Diego man was sentenced in April to 18 years in prison for operating a revenge porn website and charging victims to remove photos. Kevin Bollaert was charged with 21 counts of identity theft and six counts of extortion.

In February, Hunter Moore, the so-called “king of revenge porn” pleaded guilty to federal computer hacking and identity theft charges. Moore of Woodland, Calif., was caught posting pictures that were submitted to him or acquired by hacking. He faces up to seven years in prison.

Follow @dhpierson for tech news

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