Google launches tool to remove minors’ photos online
Google has launched a new safety feature that lets under-18s request the removal of images of themselves from the company’s search results.
The feature was originally announced in August (along with new restrictions of ad targeting of minors) but is now widely available.
In a blog post published Wednesday, the company said it is rolling out a tool that lets parents and kids under the age of 18 request photos be removed from its images tab or no longer appear as thumbnails in a search inquiry.
“We know that kids and teens have to navigate some unique challenges online, especially when a picture of them is unexpectedly available on the internet,” the company said in the blog post. “We believe this change will help give young people more control over their digital footprint and where their images can be found on Search,” the company said.
Previously, Google offered ways for individuals to request the company to remove their details and photos if they fit in the non-consensual explicit category. They can also ask Google to delete their financial, medical, and national ID.
The new tool also enables users to flag URLs of photos or search results that include the photos they want to be removed.
This is part of the company’s effort to protect minors across its many platforms. In addition to the said feature, Google has also added a private default setting for videos that teenagers uploaded.
Here’s how to submit the online form requesting removal of photos to Google:
Step1: Visit the help page (here) for the new policy to understand the information you’ll need to provide when using the request form.
Step 2: Start your removal request using the form at this support link
Step 3: Fill out the form to report the imagery that is appearing in the results. In the form, including information like:
· Image URLs of any images that you want to be removed
· URLs of any search results pages that contain the images
· Search query terms that surface the images
After you submit the request, Google’s team will review it and reach out for any additional information they might need to verify it meets the requirements for removal. And they’ll notify the users once they’ve taken down the image.