man putting up posters featuring a sexy lady

The move comes just ahead of federal revenge-porn legislation.

The war against revenge porn is on.

In an effort to thwart those who spread sexualized images of other people without their consent, Microsoft is now removing links to so-called revenge porn photos and videos from their Bing search engine, OneDrive cloud storage, and Xbox Live network whenever a victim notifies the company.

The move comes one month after Google announced a similar policy change allowing victims to request the removal of intimate photos and media from the search engine.

“Revenge porn images are intensely personal and emotionally damaging.”

Sharing intimate images of another person online without that person’s permission is a “gross violation of privacy,” Microsoft Chief Online Safety Officer Jacqueline Beauchere wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

“Unfortunately, revenge porn is on the rise across the globe,” Beauchere added. “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.”

Bing is the second largest search engine in the U.S. behind Google. Google alone is said to have directed users to over 27 million views of one popular revenge porn website in a single month.

Victims can notify Microsoft of images violating their rules here. Removal of links takes effect globally.

“Our philosophy has always been that search should reflect the whole Web. But revenge porn images are intensely personal and emotionally damaging, and serve only to degrade the victims—predominantly women,” senior vice president of search Amit Singhal wrote in a statement last month when Google announced its own anti-revenge porn initiative.

Revenge porn, which is known by experts as “nonconsensual pornography,” is also the subject of much attention in Washington. Nearly two dozen U.S. states have outlawed the practice. U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) plans to introduce federal revenge-porn legislation on Thursday.

Illustration by Max Fleishman

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