Microsoft Targets Revenge Porn With Link Removal Form

23 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

After Google, Microsoft cracks down on revenge porn as well.

Falling in step with various recent industry moves, Microsoft has set up a formal process for removing links to so-called ‘revenge porn’ from its Bing search engine, allowing victims to notify it via a dedicated web form to have access to the content cut off. Microsoft has announced it is joining an effort to curb so-called “revenge porn”, by helping victims remove links to sexually explicit images of them posted without their consent. “When someone shares intimate images of another person online without that person’s consent, the effects can be truly devastating,” said Microsoft chief online safety office Jacqueline Beauchere in a blog post. “Unfortunately, revenge porn is on the rise across the globe.(CBS SF) — Along with a slew of websites and social media platforms, Microsoft is beefing up its policies around “revenge porn” and opting for a new system to help victims report abuse.

Revenge porn refers to the sharing of intimate photographs online without the consent of the person in the photographs in an attempt to humiliate the victim. In the most severe and tragic cases, it has even led to suicide.” Beauchere said Microsoft has honoured requests to take down such content, but that it has now established a new reporting page that makes the process easier. And while search engine firms can’t remove this type of content from the Internet, they can limit access to it by making it harder for people to find online. This is intimate content uploaded on porn websites by disgruntled partners (can be both former or current) with the intention of humiliating the other person.

In the case of revenge porn, those posting it often include identity markers, links to social media profiles, addresses, etc to ensure that the victim is truly discovered and shamed on the site. Microsoft remains committed to continuing to work with leaders and experts worldwide on this evolving subject, and we expect to learn a great deal as the process moves forward. In most cases, the intimate content, which includes sex tapes, naked pictures, were taken at the time of the relationship and when the relationship fails, the former partner resorts to sharing this content online to shame their ex-spouses. In the meantime, our hope is that by helping to address requests and to remove these extremely personal photos and videos from our services, we can better support victims as they work to re-claim their privacy, and help to push just a little further in the fight against this despicable practice.

As Brian Fung writes, “we’re seeing now with Google and Microsoft, some companies are concluding that it’s much better to protect the privacy of their users than to adopt a maximalist view of free speech.” Catherine Garcia Where revenge porn laws in the US are concerned, there’s not a lot of clarity on the subject as this John Oliver video explains and that women have to go through a convoluted process to even file a complaint. So while Microsoft and Google have done well to disable search links to such videos, photos, the law too needs to make sure that victims can even begin to fight for justice. This law affords private individuals the right to requests that information associated with a search for their name is delisted from search results if it is outdated, irrelevant or erroneous. Google has continued resisting calls by European data protection regulators to delist right to be forgotten content globally, limiting link removal for these requests to European sub-domains.

It has also lobbied hard against the principle of the ruling, despite not objecting to processing removal requests for copyrighted information and other data it deems ‘sensitive’ such as bank account details.

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