The first step of many has been made by one of the world’s largest media firms. Google have agreed to prevent disturbing child abuse images and videos from appearing for over 100,000 different searches.
Eric Schmidt, the company’s chairman said the following to the Daily Mail:
“We’ve listened. We’ve fine-tuned Google Search to prevent links to child sexual abuse material from appearing in our results.”
These restrictions are currently designed to apply to English-speaking countries, however they will be expanded to cover 158 other languages over the next six months.
Mr. Schmidt has also revealed that Google will be using breakthrough technology that allows illegal videos to be ‘tagged’, enabling all duplicated copies to be removed from the Internet.
Reports say Microsoft, which operates Bing and powers Yahoo, will be confirming similar restrictions. These developments have followed the Daily Mail’s ‘Block Online Porn’ campaign, which highlighted the problems search engines could resolve.
At first, both Google and Microsoft were resistant saying that blocking search results couldn’t be done and ‘shouldn’t be done’. David Cameron has pushed them to reconsider and says that while there is still more that can be done, a significant step has been taken.
Other steps that have been taken by Google include a block on auto-complete features. This will prevent search engines from prompting inappropriate terms when the person wasn’t looking for them. For over 13,000 child abuse search terms, Google will now flash up warnings of illegality and offer links to charities.
The Government plan on asking for further support from media companies to make the Internet a safer place for everyone. To find out more about staying safe online, view our online safety page.