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Microsoft joins fight against ‘revenge porn’

AFP

ONE of world’s biggest tech players has joined the fight against revenge porn, helping victims remove links to their explicit images.

Microsoft has announced will help remove links to sexually explicit images of victims when they are posted without their consent.

“When someone shares intimate images of another person online without that person’s consent, the effects can be truly devastating,” said Microsoft chief online safety office Jacqueline Beauchere in a blog post.

“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 issue of revenge porn has hit all parts of the globe and Australia hasn’t stayed on top of the issue.

In June, the intimate photos or around 400 Adelaide women were exposed online and offered up for downloading on a revenge porn site.

And while Californian ‘revenge porn kingpin’ Kevin Bollaert was jailed for 18 years in April after running a website that hosted more than 10,000 explicit photographs, the rise of blackmailing – particularly of women – online, where their emails are hacked for nude content only to be broadcast online, is still growing.

Beauchere said Microsoft had honoured requests to take down such content, but it has now established a new reporting page that makes the process easier.

The page is currently available in English “and will be expanded to other languages in the coming weeks”, Beauchere said.

“When we remove links or content, we will do so globally.”

Google, Twitter, Reddit and others have implemented similar policies.

“Clearly, this reporting mechanism is but one small step in a growing and much-needed effort across the public and private sectors to address the problem,” Beauchere said.

“It’s important to remember, for example, that removing links in search results to content hosted elsewhere online doesn’t actually remove the content from the internet — victims still need stronger protections across the web and around the world.”