Hurrah! Finally, A Victory For Victims Of Revenge Porn (Thank you Google)

After years of campaigning, victims of 'revenge porn' can now email Google directly and request that sexual images and videos are removed from search listings.

Until now, one of the worst things for victims of revenge porn, such as Chrissy Chambers, has been the inescapability of it all. The idea that once something is online, it’s online. The idea that forever more, whenever a potential employer, boyfriend, or friend searches for your name, compromising images are going to be the first thing to come up. And that there’s nothing you can do about it.

Which is why today, we’d like to give Google a hug. And a high five.

The search engine’s executives have announced that victims of revenge porn will be able to fill out an online form to request that any offensive pages are hidden from any future search results. Meaning that while the pages will still be out there in cyberspace somewhere, they’re considerably less likely to be seen.

The form is due to be available within the next six weeks, and Google’s Vice President Amit Singhal (aka our new favourite person) says that the new regulations will apply to ‘nude or sexually explicit images’.

‘We know this won’t solve the problem of revenge porn,’ says Amit. ‘We aren’t able, of course, to remove these images from the websites themselves, but we hope that honouring people’s requests to remove such imagery from our search results can help.’

‘Revenge porn images are intensely personal and emotionally damaging, and serve only to degrade the victims – predominantly women.’

In the past, the search engine has fought back against criticism that it should remove revenge porn from its results pages – arguing that they can’t allow themselves to be censored. But while this liberal approach has reportedly led to Google becoming the world’s leading search engine (two thirds of all searches are ‘googled’, dontchaknow), protecting the mental and physical health of people around the world is obviously considerably more important.

Reading now

Popular