Google bans re­venge porn

Los Angeles Times - - TECHNOLOGY - By David Pier­son david.pier­son@latimes.com Twit­ter: @dh­pier­son

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 ref lect the whole web. But re­venge porn im­ages are in­tensely per­sonal and emo­tion­ally dam­ag­ing, and serve only to de­grade the vic­tims—pre­dom­i­nantly women,” Singhal wrote.

The im­ages will still re­main on the In­ter­net, but they’ll be much harder to find with­out the help of the 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.

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