No Mug Shots with the New Google Algorithm

No Mug Shots with the New Google Algorithm

It is everybody’s wish to have a good reputation whether in online platforms or otherwise. However, there are those who do not really care for other people’s reputation and will go extra miles to ensure that they expose the people and lender them into disrepute. One such effort is the use of Mug Shot Sites. In this way, if you have ever been arrested, your mug shot may be already online regardless of whether you were guilty of the charges or not. What does this imply? Your prospective employer, spouse or just a neighbor will get that mug shot when they perform a Google search on your name.

To make the matters even worse, your mug shot does not respect the reasons for your arrest. You may be arrested for a minor traffic offense or even a drinking escapade, but you will appear in the mug shots alongside rapists, child molesters, terrorists and other hardcore criminals. This is very saddening. However, there is now a sigh of relief now that Google has introduced new algorithm to curb these search results. This is not informed out of the way Google feels for people’s reputation but due to the fact that these sites have contravened Google Guidelines.

Many of these sites ask for money to remove your image if yours is already there. Others ask for a proof of innocence before yours is pulled down. The asking of money is regarded as extortionist behavior and therefore unethical and unacceptable. There has therefore been a need to put down these efforts of blackmail or extortion.

Google Response through Algorithm

According to reports in New York Times, Google’s Jason Freidenfelds responding to the issue of Mug Shots said “with very narrow exceptions, we take down as little as possible from search.” This statement was later followed by another clarification from Google two days later when Jason followed it with “our team has been working for the past few months on an improvement to our algorithms to address this overall issue in a consistent way. We hope to have it out in the coming weeks.” The time that this statement referred to coincided with the launch of the Penguin 2.1 update algorithm. In this way, the algorithm has already been introduced and it is now working against Mug Shot Websites.

Reactions to the Launch of the Algorithm

Even before Google stepped in with its algorithm, many states in the US had already started legislative actions against these mug shot sites. This had not gone down well with some journalists who argued that it was wrong to censor contents based on the fact that it was distasteful, and Other companies like MasterCard had already cut business with such establishments after learning of their nature.