“Google to exclude ‘revenge porn’ from internet searches”

Google plans to exclude “revenge porn” from its internet searches in future, limiting the spread of unauthorised nude or sexually explicit photos and videos posted on websites by spurned ex-partners without the subject’s consent.

Amit Singhal, a senior vice-president, announced in a post on the Google public policy blog on Friday that the company would soon issue online forms through which members of the public will be able to request that revenge porn content involving them no longer show up in Google searches. Links to such images will not be included in Google search results on that person, though they will remain online.

Singhal said Google had no control over the websites to which such images were originally posted. But cutting links out of searches will help limit the damage to victims of revenge porn – “predominantly women”, he said.

The step is a major shift for the leading search engine, which normally resists attempts at censorship on internet content showing up in searches.

This is good, obviously, but imagine if Google would extend this service to women who were sexually abused on a recognised porn set?

That, of course, would require recognising porn production as abuse, and rejecting the idea that someone can sign a contract to be abused.

That revenge porn is recognised legally is progress, but it divides women into ‘good’ victims deserving of protection, and ‘bad’ women who ‘chose’ to be abused and don’t deserve any protection.

2 responses

  1. Note that victims of revenge porn in Europe could already get such links erased from Google search results thanks to the much-maligned “right to be forgotten” privacy ruling; Google is effectively implementing a limited kind of voluntary “right to be forgotten” for revenge porn that applies to people outside Europe too.

  2. I didn’t know that, thank you.

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