Microsoft to remove revenge porn images per victim requests

Microsoft to remove revenge porn images per victim requests
Microsoft to remove revenge porn images per victim requests

Following in the footsteps of Google, Microsoft said in a Wednesday blog post that it would “remove links to photos and videos from search results in Bing, and remove access to the content itself when shared on OneDrive or Xbox Live” when the company is notified by a victim of revenge porn.

Calling posting of intimate pictures of a person online with permission “gross violations of privacy,” Microsoft noted that revenge porn is on the rise around the world and “can damage nearly every aspect of a victim's life,” even leading, in some cases, to suicide.

To thwart the practice, Microsoft has set up a reporting page online, available initially in English but to be expanded to other languages shortly, so that victims can easily alert the company to photos and videos that were posted without their consent.

The tech giant will remove the images globally. Acknowledging that the reporting initiative is “one small step” in what needs to be a much larger effort, the post, penned by Microsoft chief online security safety officer Jacqueline Beauchere, cautioned “that removing links in search results to content hosted elsewhere online doesn't actually remove the content from the Internet – victims still need stronger protections across the Web and around the world.”

In late June, Google announced a similar reporting mechanism designed to make “revenge porn” images inaccessible through its search engine. While Google won't be able to remove such images from websites, it aims to impact their visibility via Search, Amit Singhal, SVP of Google Search, wrote in a company blog post.

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