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Microsoft is Fighting Back Against Revenge Porn

Microsoft now allows victims of revenge porn to ban it from Bing and other Microsoft services.

Paul Tamburroby Paul Tamburro

Microsoft has set up a process that allows victims of “revenge porn,” the terminology given to pornographic material distributed by an ex-lover of an individual without their consent, to have the links to the footage/images removed from the company’s Bing search engine.

Microsoft announced the decision in a blog post, addressing the moral problem of allowing this kind of material to be distributed on the Internet, writing: 

“When someone shares intimate images of another person online without that person’s consent, the effects can be truly devastating. These gross violations of privacy are commonly (and unartfully) referred to as “revenge porn.” Unfortunately, revenge porn is on the rise across the globe. It can damage nearly every aspect of a victim’s life: relationships, career, social activities. In the most severe and tragic cases, it has even led to suicide.”

The tech giant is now looking to help victims by setting up a dedicated web page that allows them to enter a form which will lead to the offending footage/images being removed, both from Microsoft’s Bing engine and from platforms it may have been shared across, including the OneDrive cloud storage service and Xbox Live.

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These changes to the way Microsoft deals with revenge porn comes at a time when there have been vocal backlashes against this type of content being shared over the Internet. While the open nature of the web means that it is difficult to prevent the circulating of porn, these new changes certainly highlight how Microsoft is looking to tackle the issue head-on.

With a number of high-profile cases having recently reared their heads, including a case in 2014 in which a woman reached a $500,000 settlement with her ex-boyfriend who had distributed videos and images of her online, a lot more is being done to preserve the rights of those who do not consent to being involved in the distribution of pornographic material.

Microsoft’s latest move has now seen them join the likes of Google, who also allow victims of revenge porn to go through a formal process that leads to the company taking down links to the footage/images from their own search engine.

Photo: Getty Images