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Google cracks down on revenge porn

I've covered so-called "revenge porn" in the past. It's disgusting, petty, vindictive, devastating and completely shameful. It's a modern day nightmare that happens when private photos that were taken during a relationship, end up online for the world to gawk at when the relationship ends badly. There's another version that can happen when private photos are stolen and posted without permission.

Thankfully, Google's made a big change that could help get rid of it. If you've ever sent a photo that you regret sending, you'll be happy to know that Google is taking a step to protect you from someone posting it online for the world to see.

In one of the most high profile cases so far, self-styled revenge porn king, Hunter Moore, pleaded guilty to charges of hacking and identity theft in a Los Angeles federal court. He faces years in prison and huge fines.  Now other revenge porn website creators have started to be legally punished for posting these types of pictures. It looks like prosecutors are finally starting to take this crime seriously.

Casey Mayering, who managed the nude site Win By State, is another prime example of the government's no-tolerance policy for revenge porn. Mayering is currently awaiting trial in California for charges similar to Moore.

While I applaud the justice system for recognizing how serious this crime is, taking down the website operators who profit from this despicable industry is just a part of the solution. As I've said so many times, once something is on the Internet, it's always on the Internet. Other sites can pop up with these same photos, even sites outside the U.S. and out of reach of our law enforcement and courts.

That's why it is so important that Google took a major step last week in protecting the privacy of revenge porn victims. Google announced it will no longer show search results for this type of image and will aim at removing them from the Web altogether.

In an official statement on the matter, Google representatives said, "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. So going forward, we’ll honor requests from people to remove nude or sexually explicit images shared without their consent from Google Search results."

Revenge porn can be the first thing that appears when people search their friend's, lover's, mother's or colleague's name, and it can have devastating effects on their career and even their mental stability.

Women who have been affected by this have pushed for major search engines to remove these images and results. Now their pleas have finally been heard. But what do you think about this? Is it going to protect millions of women who have their bodies on websites around the world or is Google censoring their search results uncalled for? Tell me by commenting below.

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Source: Slate
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