Google Lets Kids Request Removal Of Self-Images In Search

Google introduced a tool Wednesday to give minors more control of self-images that appear in search queries, allowing those under 18 to request removal. Requests for removal can be initiated by anyone under the age of 18 or their parents or guardians.

This means the images will not appear in the Images tab or as thumbnails in any feature in Google Search.

And while the request will remove the image from results in Google Search, the company wants it made clear that it does not remove it from the internet, explains Danny Sullivan, Google public liaison for search at Google, in a post. He provides a link to a support page on the processes of contacting the site’s webmaster to ask that they remove the content, too.

The approach offers a few steps to address how to remove images.

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For Google to consider removing the content, it must meet certain requirements -- for example, the image must include an identifiable individual who is currently under the age of 18, as well as images related to the tragic situation of a child who has died before reaching the age of 18.

The person requesting the removal must be either the individual, a legal guardian for the individual, or an authorized representative.

The review process takes into account “public interest and newsworthiness” when determining whether content will be removed. In some cases, Google may not remove reported content. In other cases, the company said it may preference with public interest and limit the removal to queries that include identifying terms, such as the name of the individual under 18, name of the parent, and aliases.

The news comes weeks after Facebook announce it will introduce several features including prompting teens to take a break using its photo sharing app Instagram, and “nudging” teens if they are repeatedly look at the same content not conducive to their well-being.

Facebook also plans to introduce new controls for adults of teens, so that parents or guardians can supervise what their teens are doing online. These initiatives come after Facebook announced late last month that it was pausing work on its Instagram for Kids project. Critics are skeptical of the plan.

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