Google Will Begin Unlinking Revenge Porn From The Internet

...at the victims' request

Following in the footsteps of Twitter earlier this year, Google is taking steps to limit access to “revenge porn,” by scrubbing their search result of “nude or sexually explicit images” shared without consent.

“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 Amit Singhal, SVP of Google Search, in a blog post Friday.

Google Search will now accept requests from those looking to have links to their photos removed, although Google cannot remove the actual photos from wherever they’re hosted. But, if Google can cut access to the images, there’s less of a likelihood that the images will be seen. The requests will be similar to Google’s existing form to request the removal of sensitive information.

The gatekeepers of the internet, meaning those who hold authority over large pieces of widely-consumed internet real estate, have been cracking down on objectionable material as of late.

Reddit, the self-proclaimed “Front page of the internet,” took a stand against revenge porn in February.

“No matter who you are, if a photograph, video, or digital image of you in a state of nudity, sexual excitement, or engaged in any act of sexual conduct, is posted or linked to on reddit without your permission, it is prohibited on reddit,” wrote Reddit’s leadership.

Reddit also more recently banned more than five subreddits (internal forums), such as /r/fatpeoplehate and /r/hamplanethatred, two forums targeted at disparaging the overweight and obese. Interim Reddit CEO Ellen Pao saw massive backlash for taking action, as /r/fatpeoplehate clones popped up around the website and spawned popular groups like /r/ellenpaohate.

In March, Twitter added, “You may not post intimate photos or videos that were taken or distributed without the subject’s consent,” to its rules, following their expansion of the site’s toolkit for battling abuse in February.

Facebook also revised its policies on sexual abuse and exploitation in March, and reminded users to report and block illegal or morally offensive material.