Dear Google: Grant a Crime Victim Privacy!
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A decade ago, a man was a crime victim. Today, page one of Google search results of his name produce shocking, graphic assault images on the crime that legal analysts and advocates have likened to revenge porn.
While the victim persevered to reach the summit of academic achievement, Google maintains these graphic images at the top of search results of the victim’s name, instantly connecting anyone at any time to the worst moment of his life, causing him stigma, shame and significant personal and professional harm. As a result, the victim is still unable to heal from the trauma of the crime.
Why is decade old content on this crime appearing on the first page of Google search results of the victim’s name, despite the victim having generated years of new online content showcasing his accomplishments?
The reality is simple: Google’s algorithms are biased. Like a supermarket tabloid, Google exploits the pain and suffering of individuals through its biased "page rank" with a knack for highlighting graphic and salacious material without sensitivity for those affected. Peoples’ most tragic moments become the clicks which globally become billion$. This is the same reason why revenge porn is affecting so many. Google, like "big tobacco," does not seek an effective solution because it is profiting from the pain of its victims.
Major crime victim rights groups, a leading U.S. city’s police board, an American mayor and several of the victim’s family and friends have urged Google to de-index this graphic content.
One victim rights organization wrote to Google that the “[victim’s] family is working to move on from this incident and he with his career, without this traumatic crime inflicting professional, reputational and emotional damages in perpetuity.”
And yet, Google's refuses to act, despite over 100+ independent websites having taken down this content upon request. The onus and suffering of seeking privacy has been thrown totally upon the victim!!
A month ago in Europe, courts granted a businessman with a criminal conviction the right to privacy, while GDRP laws will ensure that Europeans are entitled to still greater privacy. In America, not even victims receive privacy in Google.
What will it take for Google to de-list a graphic crime photo that is like a weapon in the victim's life, causing him suffering every day?
Fifty years down the road, we will look back at this time and wonder why we allowed this corporation to cause so much pain and suffering to victims when collective action could have stopped it.
The time is now: Google, we urge you to side with humanity and de-index content on this crime victim!
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