Google attempts to smash explicit postings without consent
It’s something that has been heard about in the news many times. People have major fallouts or break ups with their partners then seek revenge on them by posting ‘uncomfortable’ pictures online. The effects of this can be devastating ranging from embarrassment and psychological problems, to landing people in hot water professionally and even losing their jobs. The problem seems to becoming more common especially amongst younger people so the question of what can be done about it has become even more pressing.
The issue is with these pictures appearing in search results, and since Google is the biggest search engine, the matter has landed on them to sort out.
In the next few weeks Google has announced that a feature is going to become live to help try and tackle this (you can view the newsflash in their blog post at: http://www.googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/revenge-porn-and-search.html)
In short people will be able to click on something which allows them to request that these explicit images become removed from Google’s search results. Quite what a ‘request’ actually is, or the process for disallowing these images is not totally clear at the moment, and so further information (and perhaps refining) will be necessary.
The important thing to point out is that the introduction of this new feature will not stop the malicious practice. Infact a wider question is raised as to whether this can ever be stopped at all – that, however, is a separate debate. At best Google seems to be of the opinion that the process is likely to ‘help’ with the problem, but again to what extent that is achieved will be for time to tell.
Any change is good and in such a highly sensitive area this can only be welcomed. Once the alteration has happened and adjusted, look out for our posting and we will be able to report the results!
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