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Google Bends on Right to Be Forgotten for 'Revenge Porn' Search Results

Victims of the incendiary practice can now appeal to expunge sexually explicit images from search.

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Since its inception, Google has remained stubborn on the sanctity of search. It casts itself as the digital librarian to the entire Web, not the judge and jury of what appears online. As Europe has pressed on the “right to be forgotten” — France is now threatening financial penalties against the company — Google has held steadfast to its opposing stance, its executives frequently citing the countervailing “right to know.”

On Friday, Google bent a bit. The company announced it is now willing to scrub search of “revenge porn,” sexually explicit images that are either stolen or posted online without permission. Google said it will open an online process for submitting removal requests.

“So going forward, we’ll honor requests from people to remove nude or sexually explicit images shared without their consent from Google Search results,” Amit Singhal, Google’s SVP for search, wrote in a blog post. “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.”

Google joins other Internet behemoths recently moving — albeit at a plodding pace — to make the Web a less hostile place, particularly for women. Reddit placed restrictions on similar vitriolic content in February, followed by Twitter in March.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.