Why Google Blocking Revenge Porn is Significant

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog - Tehrani.com
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Why Google Blocking Revenge Porn is Significant

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Amit Singhal SVP Google Search said on his blog today the company will soon offer a web form to allow people to remove revenge-porn from their search results:
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.
Jessica Guynn at USATODAY had a nice post on the matter and what I find most interesting is the following portion of her piece:
"If it's not in Google, does it actually exist? The answer is yes, it does exist but it's a heck of a lot harder to find. Even this won't make it impossible but it does make it more difficult and, when it's more difficult, it makes it less attractive for people to do this kind of behavior."
In other words - Google is the Internet - if you aren't on Google, you (probably) don't exist. Let me elaborate. If you use Google exclusively, like most people outside of China do, then if you don't find something, you don't know to look for it elsewhere. Obviously, if you know something exists, you can find it... But if you don't, you assume, if Google doesn't have it, it isn't worth the effort to look elsewhere. In short, it doesn't exist.

Its a testament of just how good Google is at search and moreover, how much better they are at it than everyone else.

Christopher Mims just penned a piece over at the WSJ about why Apple should drop the Mac. he was ridiculed by most almost immediately. After all, many people said, what does a writer know about running a company. Some of the comments on the article were illuminating - for example, exactly how do you write programs for iPads if there is no Mac? Putting that aside, his point was, companies can only be good at a few things.

This logic explains why Microsoft's Bing isn't setting the search world on fire and neither is Yahoo. Neither is  a pure-play.

The only real serious challenger if you look many years out isDuckDuckGo.png DuckDuckGo - but I and they probably wished they had selected a shorter name. People need to be able to say "Just Duck it." In fact, based on interesting words that rhyme with "duck" I'm fairly certain the phrase would catch on.

This gets us back - via an unintended segue to revenge porn and how Google is doing something admirable. They should be lauded for making this move.


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