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Google will honour requests to remove ‘revenge porn’ from search

Google has announced a potentially major breakthrough in the fight against the worrying proliferation of online ‘revenge porn.’

The company will soon be honouring requests to remove images and videos, posted without a person’s full consent, from Google Search results.

In a post on the Google Search blog, the company said the ‘narrow and limited’ policy won’t solve the problem completely, images will remain on the hosting websites, removing them from search results will at least make the content harder to find.

Amit Singal, SVP of Google Search, wrote: “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.

“So going forward, we’ll honour 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.”

Read more: Oculus founder opens door to VR porn

Revenge porn has become a bigger issue in recent years with posts intended to humiliate and embarrass ex-partners. Despite the operator of a revenge porn website being sentenced to 18 years in prison earlier this year, the trend shows no sign of slowing down.

Google says it’ll post a web form in the coming weeks, which will allow victims to submit requests.

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