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Google Allows Photos of Minors to Be Removed from Search

Google’s new safety feature allows minors under the age of 18 request that their images be removed from search results. Minors, their parents, their guardians and their legal representation can all make the requests. 

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This is the help page through which the request process starts.

Applicants must supply the URLs of the images they want removed from results, search terms that bring the images up and the age of the minor in question, as well as the name and relationship to the person who could be acting on their behalf.

The minor must be identifiable in the image and currently under the age of 18, but Google noted it will also remove images of a child who has died before turning 18.

“Google removes images of anyone below the age of 18 from search results at the request of the individual under 18 or their parent or guardian, with the exception of cases of compelling public interest or newsworthiness. This means these images won’t appear in the Images tab or as thumbnails in any feature in Google Search,” says a message on the help page. “Important: While we can prevent an image from appearing in our search results, we can’t remove it from websites that host it. This is why you might wish to contact the site’s webmaster and ask them to remove the content.”

After submitting the request, the minor or their representative gets an automated email confirmation, the request is reviewed, Google gathers “more info, if needed” and the requester will get a notification if any action is taken. 

“If submitted image URLs are found to be within the scope of our policy, they will be removed from Google search results,” says the company. “If the request doesn’t meet the requirements for removal, we’ll also include a brief explanation. If your request is denied and later you have additional materials to support your case, you can re-submit your request.”

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