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A computer user poses in front of a Google search page in this photo illustration taken in Brussels May 30, 2014. Google has taken the first steps to meet a European ruling that citizens can have objectionable links removed from Internet search results, a ruling that pleased privacy campaigners but raised fears that the right can be abused to hide negative information. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir (BELGIUM - Tags: POLITICS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY) - RTR3RK9T

Google to remove ‘revenge porn’ from search results

Google announced Friday that it will begin allowing users to request that nude or sexually explicit content that was posted without their consent be removed from Google search results.

“Revenge porn” — a term that refers to nude or sexually explicit images of someone that are posted online by an ex-lover without consent — can be damaging to victims’ self-esteem, reputation, and job prospects, especially when these photographs are easily searchable on the web.

“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,” Google executive Amit Singhal said in a blog post on the company’s website.

The new Google policy won’t rid websites of the images, but will remove the links from its search result page if a victim or other user requests it. Google has a similar process in place for compromised bank account numbers and depictions of child sexual abuse.

Other tech giants, including Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit, instituted policies banning revenge porn on their websites earlier this year.

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