Google Seeks to Break Vicious Cycle of Online Slander

beSpacific 2021-06-11

The New York Times: “For many years, the vicious cycle has spun: Websites solicit lurid, unverified complaints about supposed cheaters, sexual predators, deadbeats and scammers. People slander their enemies. The anonymous posts appear high in Google results for the names of victims. Then the websites charge the victims thousands of dollars to take the posts down. This circle of slander has been lucrative for the websites and associated middlemen — and devastating for victims. Now Google is trying to break the loop. The company plans to change its search algorithm to prevent websites, which operate under domains like BadGirlReport.date and PredatorsAlert.us, from appearing in the list of results when someone searches for a person’s name. Google also recently created a new concept it calls “known victims.” When people report to the company that they have been attacked on sites that charge to remove posts, Google will automatically suppress similar content when their names are searched for. “Known victims” also includes people whose nude photos have been published online without their consent, allowing them to request suppression of explicit results for their names…”