I wonder if Google will delete David Fisher’s revenge porn article?

Google will remove revenge-porn images and web links from search-engine results, seeking to curtail the public humiliation of people who have had their private pictures posted on the Internet.

The Web company will honour requests to take down nude or sexually explicit images shared from search results, Amit Singhal, senior vice president of Google Search, wrote in a blog post Friday. An online form will be soon be available to submit removal requests, he said.

“Revenge-porn images are intensely personal and emotionally damaging, and serve only to degrade the victims — predominantly women,” Singhal wrote. “We’ve heard many troubling stories of revenge porn: an ex-partner seeking to publicly humiliate a person by posting private images of them, or hackers stealing and distributing images from victims’ accounts. Some images even end up on sextortion sites that force people to pay to have their images removed.”

While Google generally prefers to make most digital content available via its search engine, it does take steps to ensure that certain sensitive personal information is blocked. The new revenge-porn blocking policy is similar to what Google already does with bank-account numbers and signatures, according to Singhal.

Even though embarrassing images won’t be removed from the websites, which are controlled by their owners, Google said that removing revenge-porn results should help.

A little while ago, an overseas web site published revenge porn of a New Zealand woman that had been released by a man looking for attention in all the wrong sorts of ways. ? The revenge porn had been sent to most media outlets, and apparently the full press gallery. ?

As it had no news value in and of itself, apart from the fact the woman and the man involved may be slightly known to the public in a completely different context, everyone refused to touch the material, the story, and the man.

Even when an overseas web site published the photos and full details of the woman and the man, nobody in the New Zealand media made it a news story. ?Revenge porn simply didn’t reach the standard of “public interest”.

Except that David Fisher of the NZ Herald published an article about it. ?It stayed up for a while, and was then removed from the NZ Herald web site. ? Of course, by then, Google had indexed the page, and it still exists in its cache, even though that should?expire at some point.

It will be interesting to see in future if Google will entertain the removal of news stories published by recognised media outlets, when those stories are nothing more than the newsification of revenge porn. ?Because at that point, the horse has well and truly bolted.

And the fact a news org published info regarding revenge porn then becomes newsworthy in its own right. ?Such is the perversity of the public interest test.

I think it’s fair to say that David Fisher didn’t have many friends to start with, but he certainly didn’t make?any new ones by trying to turn revenge porn into a NZ Herald headline.

These, we must remember, are the decent, trained and skilled journalists whom I was lectured about by a NZ Herald senior some time ago. ?The very people I should look up to. ?The people I should aspire to be like.

The best advice is of course not to provide the material for revenge porn in the first place. ?Second, it was nice to know?nobody in the New Zealand media was willing to touch it.

Except David “Tainted” Fisher, of course.

David Fisher, NZ Herald Journalist

David Fisher, NZ Herald Journalist

Please do not reveal the man’s name, the woman’s name, or the overseas web site in any way – directly, indirectly or obliquely. ?Doing so will earn a life-time ban.

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