Google has activated a security feature that allows minors under the age of 18 to request that images of themselves be removed from search results, The edge reported. Google first announced the option in August as part of a list of new child safety measures, but it is now widely distributed to users.
Google said it would remove all images of minors “except in cases of compelling public interest or media interest.” Requests can be made by minors, their parents, guardians or other legal representatives.
To do this, you will need to provide the URLs you want to remove, the name and age of the minor, and the name of the person acting on their behalf. Google notes that “Web URLs (pages containing both text and images) cannot be removed under this policy, which aims to limit the presence of images in Google search results.”
To that end, it also can’t remove images from the websites that host them, so “you can contact the webmaster of the site and ask them to remove the content,” Google said. To help with that, he has linked a guide on how to contact a site’s webmaster.
Until Google starts actively removing images, we won’t see what criteria it applies for “public interest or media value.” In general, however, it seems that most images will likely be removed if a minor or their guardian requests it. However, it does not appear that you can require the removal of images of yourself under the age of 18, unless you are currently under that age, as The edge noted.