Home Pop Culture Right move? Google to ban revenge porn from search results

Right move? Google to ban revenge porn from search results

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Google to ban revenge porn
What constitutes free speech and should we be censoring ideas, images, even those that we find offensive?

Google on Friday announced that it will now be taking steps to remove search results linking to explicit revenge porn images of people without their consent.

Going forward in the weeks ahead the internet search engine giant will put an online petition form that will allow victims to make requests to remove offending images from Google search queries.

The move comes as a shift from the search engine’s prior position which maintained that its judgments about information and images should be limited to how relevant the material is to each person’s query. 

That libertarian approach helped establish Google as the world’s most dominant search engine, processing roughly two-thirds of all online requests for information.

Nevertheless the outlet has decided to make an exception with the unauthorized sharing of nude photos because those images are often posted by ex-spouses and jilted romantic partners or extortionists demanding ransoms to take down the pictures.

‘Revenge porn images are intensely personal and emotionally damaging, and serve only to degrade the victims — predominantly women,Amit Singhal, Google’s senior vice president of search, wrote in a Friday blog post.

Google’s stand against revenge porn won’t necessarily purge it from the Internet because it has no authority to order other sites to remove offensive or even illegal content. 

That said google is hoping revenge porn will prove less mortifying to its intended victims by making it more difficult to find on the web.

The move comes after social media giant, reddit embraced policies banning nude photos from being posted without the subject’s permission in the wake of last year’s fappening scandal, which saw the leaking of nude images of celebrities without their consent.

That gesture led to many questioning reddit’s reversal off hands attitude towards what constitutes content and concerns as to what constituted violations and the idea of that no entity should be able to control/censor what existed on the web.

Other concerns raised related to other questionable areas on reddit, including subreddits based on racism, the display of dead bodies from traffic accidents and why they got to remain untouched?

Earlier this year, Google tried to prohibit sexually explicit material from the publicly accessible sites in its Blogger service only to reverse itself within a few days amid cries of unwarranted censorship among Blogger’s users.

This isn’t the first time Google has excised sensitive content from its search index. In most instances, the company has been forced to do so under laws imposed in various countries where it operates. 

While its search engine operated in mainland China from 2006 through 2010, Google blocked information that the country’s Communist government deemed to be inappropriate and the company has been scrubbing humiliating information from people’s pasts in Europe for the past year.

And then there were these comments on the web that caught my eye, see what you think?

So people posting pictures of their ex-significant others without permission is bad, but Gawker posting someone’s private sex tape without their permission is Responsible Journalism?

Ok if that case, then take down sites that causes harm to people that degrades trashes you. After someone dated you post hate website about you. Plenty of them in Google as well. Doubt they ever be taken off line.

Good in concept, though I don’t quite know how one distinguishes between nekked pictures and ‘revenge porn’ nekked pictures (except when they’re labeled as such). The difference between hacked celebrity photos and Vogue Europe photo shoot celebrity photos seems to be negligible. Except the Vogue pictures are more absurd.

I am sorry, but if your “deeply personal information” includes a picture you either gave to someone or willingly let them take, I fail to see where this ends. I recognize that someone uneducated in the term might think this is a “slippery slope” argument, but could someone please tell me where this “line” that was supposedly recognized is located? Preferably without using meaninglessly subjective terms?

I am not trying to suggest that RP is ok. I am just suggesting that we do walk a very scary line when we start saying that we get to decide that speech can be illegal just because it is embarrassing, yet true.

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