Removing links to explicit content

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Microsoft, Google and Yahoo search engine results

Microsoft, Google and Yahoo have released online web forms to allow victims to request that links to websites containing any sexually explicit images or videos of them be omitted from search results. This includes Xbox and OneDrive services.

These forms can be used by victims of online sexual coercion and extortion offences, to mitigate the impact by making the information harder to obtain through conventional search engines. It is important to note that although this may make content significantly harder to find, it will not remove the actual content which is held on third party websites.

The online forms are easy to complete and must be completed  by the victim. This does not require any police action (although in the case of Microsoft, if the victim can attach a police report/restraining order/court order/solicitors letter, it will speed up the process).

Microsoft Bing, OneDrive and XBOX

Access the Microsoft form

What is needed to complete the report?

The form should be completed by a parent or representative of the individual who is the subject of the explicit photo or video, and contain the following information:

  • Victim’s name, country of residence and email address
  • URL (website address) of the content that should be omitted from search results
  • Confirmation that the victim did not consent to the content being shared
  • Details of any personal information that is included with the explicit content, e.g. links to social media accounts, name, telephone number
  • Whether the content appears in search results when you search for the victim by name
  • Any supporting paperwork from the police, court, lawyer, or restraining order.

Google

Access the Google form

What is needed to complete the report?

The form should be completed by a parent or representative of the individual who is the subject of the explicit photo or video, and contain the following information:

  • Victim’s name
  • Country of residence
  • Contact email address
  • URL(s) of the offending content
  • Screenshots of the offending content.

Yahoo

Access the Yahoo form    

  • You may be required to provide photo ID of the victim to verify their identity. Yahoo guarantees this will be safely destroyed once their ID is validated.
  • The victim will also need to provide the direct URL to the content.

Social networking sites

Tumblr

Access the Tumblr form 

Twitter

Access the Twitter form 

Facebook

The mechanism for reporting explicit content depends on whether the victim has access to the content and whether the content has been posted on their page or on a different user’s page.

If you can see the content that is being displayed:

To report a picture/video that has been posted on the victim’s own page:

  • Click on the photo/video to expand it
  • Click options on the bottom right
  • Click report photo/report video

To report content on somebody else’s page:

  • Click on the photo/video to expand it
  • Click options on the bottom right
  • Click report photo/report video

To report a whole page:

  • Go to the page you want to report
  • Click ". . ." on the page's cover photo
  • Select Report Page and follow the on-screen instructions.

Reporting a profile:

  • Go to the profile you want to report
  • On the bottom right of the cover photo, click . . . and select Report 
  • Follow the on-screen instructions.

If you can’t see the content that has been posted because you have been blocked or do not have permissions to view the page, complete the online form.
If you are using a mobile device and cannot view the content for whatever reason, a different process needs to be followed;

Instagram

Access the Instagram form

YouTube

How to report a video

Watch this short video explaining how to do it.

How to flag a channel

  • Visit the channel page you wish to report
  • Click ‘About’
  • Click the Flag drop down button
  • Select the option that best suits your issue.

Snapchat

Access the Snapchat form

WhatsApp

Access the WhatsApp info

Victims can request that copyrighted material be removed by emailing support@whatsapp.com and providing the details of the content to be removed.

Kik

Victims can report violations of the terms at the support E-mail address.