Google: Help us! Our search engine is STUFFED FULL of your 'revenge smut' pics
We'll kill unauthorized nudes ... if you ask nicely, says ad giant
Google has promised it will yank from its web search results links to "revenge porn" pics – which are typically sexy snaps leaked online by jilted exes – if the subjects of the images ask nicely.
The ad giant said people whose nude photos have been published without their consent will be able to file requests via an online form to have the images removed from Google search results.
"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," wrote Google senior search veep Amit Shinghal.
"So going forward, we’ll honor requests from people to remove nude or sexually explicit images shared without their consent from Google Search results."
Google, at time of writing, had not made the request form available but Shinghal said the multinational planned to put it online in "the coming weeks".
Singhal said that the takedown process for revenge porn pics will be handled much like Google treats takedown requests for other sensitive personal information, such as bank account details. The Chocolate Factory notes that it will only be able to remove images from its own search results; the actual sites hosting the photos will not be censored or blocked.
Google isn't the first to institute this sort of policy. Twitter decided in March to ban users from posting "intimate" images without the subjects' consent.
US authorities have also taken action against revenge porn sites. In February, the FBI arrested Hunter Moore and Charles Evens on computer crime charges related to their smut site Is Anyone Up. And in January, the Federal Trade Commission legal complaints banned revenge porn operator Craig Brittain from posting any nude pictures online without explicit permission. ®