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Victim Of Revenge Porn? Google's Happy To Help You

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Google has announced that it will begin accepting requests for the removal of links leading to sexually explicit images shared without the subject's consent, or "revenge porn."

The new policy will be going into effect in the coming weeks, and will be great news for anyone who has ever been the victim of revenge porn.

As mentioned, revenge porn itself is sexually explicit images being posted without the subject's consent. Often this is in the case of an ex-partner posting images after a messy breakup, however Google's definition also includes images being posted after a hack, such as the case with the celebrity hacking scandal from last year, in which thousands of photos of hundreds celebrities were stolen from their iCloud accounts and posted online.

The move is a big step forward considering the fact that Google previously required a legal request in order to remove links to such content. In Europe, however, Google is required to remove links to content under the "right to be forgotten," which essentially allows people to request the removal of links to information related to their pasts.

Of course, it's important to note that Google cannot actually remove the images themselves, which are hosted by other websites.

"We know this won't solve the problem of revenge porn-we aren't able, of course, to remove these images from the websites themselves-but we hope that honoring people's requests to remove such imagery from our search results can help," said Google in a blog post.

Google isn't the only company trying to tackle revenge porn, with Reddit having taken steps to ban it after the celebrity hacking scandal, in which most of the photos were posted to Reddit. In March, both Twitter and Facebook, which were both never very accepting of pornography on their websites in the first place, banned users from posting intimate photos of others without their consent. In fact, Facebook has an entire team dedicated to handling complaints about images that are sexually explicit, along with complaints about things like hate speech.

In fact, it seems as though Google's decision has already started having a positive effect on people.

"As a revenge porn victim, this news is life-changing. Finally, I can begin combatting the harsh reality I've faced daily for two years - that my sexual assault and the revenge porn videos of it live online with no remedy to remove them from search results," said one commenter on Google's blog post. "This change is going help countless victims and will save lives, thank you."

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