Here’s some good news: late last week, Google officially joined the ranks of other Internet giants in the fight against “non-consensual pornography”, or more popularly known as revenge porn.

Amit Singhal, SVP of Google Search, wrote this in a blog post:

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. This is a narrow and limited policy, similar to how we treat removal requests for other highly sensitive personal information, such as bank account numbers and signatures, that may surface in our search results.

In the coming weeks we’ll put up a web form people can use to submit these requests to us, and we’ll update this blog post with the link.

Singhal also hoped that although this attempt cannot stop revenge porn all together, removing images upon request would help.

Earlier this year, Google had set up stricter laws concerning the posting of explicit content on its free blogging platform, Blogger. It tool effect in March, the same month Reddit updated its privacy policy to ban the posting of media (photos and videos) that are deemed sexually explicit without the subject’s consent. Facebook and Twitter took a similar stance a month after.

To date, there are 21 states in the US with laws against revenge porn. Some countries in Asia, the Middle East, Australia, Europe, and the UK have done the same, with others even classifying it under sex crimes.

With this latest announcement from Google, we expect to see news of other companies quickly following suit.

Someone on my Twitter feed posted this clip yesterday, and I think it’s a great way to cap off this post. It’s highly entertaining but packs a lot of points to think about, most especially on the side of victims of harassment, abuse, and trolling.

Disclaimer: The video may no be viewable in some countries outside the US.

Spoiler: Try not to be annoyed by the rickrolls.

Jovi Umawing