Google is invested in helping to protect kids, teens, and families as the amount of data available on the internet increases exponentially. More often, images of minors under the age of 18 are brought online for various reasons, either via photobomb, public events, or otherwise, and it may be against the wishes of those minors, their parents, or guardians to have them seen by strangers.
I can echo this sentiment as a father, and am happy to announce that Google is making it much easier with its new policy to get these images removed than it used to be. Now, all you’ll need to do is follow the steps found on the company’s blog post. Do keep in mind that this will allow you to request removal – you’ll still need to wait for Google to approve said request and to review the case. There’s always a chance the company will not agree and deny it.
- Visit the help page for this new policy to understand the information you’ll need to provide when using the request form.
- Start your removal request using the form at this support link.
- Fill out the form to report the imagery that is appearing in results. In the form, include information like:
Google already provides many options for removing content from its search engine if it violates your basic human rights or privacy, including content that is explicit, personal, or fake, but until now, removing images of minors was more of a hassle.
If you end up needing to remove content from Google’s servers via this route, please keep in mind that you’re not removing it from the internet as a whole. Remember, Google just catalogues and connects you to information that’s elsewhere on the internet. You’ll still need to contact a site’s owner or webmaster to ask them to remove the content directly!
This means that if your child appears on a school website for a function and you want that taken down, you’ll have to speak with the school, and so on and so forth. Taking control of your digital footprint is important and as a minor, understanding and holding these practices as important will set the pace for your digital life going forward.
As a parent or guardian, protecting your children online in an age where information is rapidly created and released with seemingly no way of being in complete control, tools like this will prove vital to how we set that pace for our little ones and help them take hold of it as they grow.