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By: Fightthenewdrug.org
June 22,2015

In the summer of 2014 when Google announced that it would no longer allow its popular Google Ad-Words program to be used for any links to porn sites or to contain any sexually explicit language, it was a big deal. It was an unprecedented move by the company that seemingly owns the internet and it was also a huge step in the right direction for those who don’t want porn links stacked amongst their everyday searches.

Well, just this past weekend Google continued their winning streak of not wanting to proliferate porn in society. The company recently posted on their Public Policy Blog that they are creating a web form for those who have been victimized by revenge porn to have their images removed from Google’s search engines. In the statement, Google says:

We’ve heard many troubling stories of “revenge porn”: an ex-partner seeking to publicly humiliate a person by posting private images of them, or hackers stealing and distributing images from victims’ accounts. Some images even end up on “sextortion” sites that force people to pay to have their images removed. 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.

Google is showing that they are very aware of the terrible trend of revenge porn in our society, which has basically become a digital form of sex slavery. With the perfect mixture of smart phones, sexting, and social media, revenge porn has become such an issue that currently 18 U.S. states have laws to help prosecute offenders and protect victims of revenge porn.

Google continues in their statement:

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.

In the coming weeks we’ll put up a web form people can use to submit these requests to us, and we’ll update this blog post with the link.

This is an unbelievably huge step in the right direction. With people being victimized daily by pictures/videos sent to an ex-partner, or by images that were captured without their knowledge, it is about time that internet giants like Google join the fight and do what they can to help the situation. But Google admits in their statement that it won’t be a catch-all fix to the problem:

We know this won’t solve the problem of revenge porn—we aren’t able, of course, to remove these images from the websites themselves—but we hope that honoring people’s requests to remove such imagery from our search results can help.

While there is no perfect solution to fixing something as complex and ever-changing as the internet, this noble move by Google will most definitely help to prevent a lot of sexual exploitation that happens on the world wide web.

Google rocks.

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