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Microsoft promises to promptly remove revenge porn from OneDrive, Xbox Live

The question of whether or not to block adult content has long been a prickly topic for media companies, but the rise of revenge porn now seems to be forcing the hand of many parties in charge of public-facing services. Now, Microsoft has pledged to refocus its efforts on removing the blight from its interests.

In a statement published earlier today, the company made clear its intention to put victims back in control. According to the blog post, ‘much needs to be done to address the problem’ — and Microsoft intends to lead the charge by making some changes to the way content is filtered on some of its most broadly used services.

Links to the offending photos and videos are set to be removed from Bing, and any such content shared via Microsoft’s OneDrive or Xbox Live will be removed as soon as it’s discovered. In addition, a new system for reporting such content has been set up on the Microsoft Support site.

Related: Microsoft releases PhotoDNA for public use to help fight the spread of child pornography

Part of the reason that revenge porn can be so damaging to victims is the idea that once something is made available on the Internet, it can never really be removed. That’s true for the most part, but it’s largely down to the fact that the systems to remove content aren’t as sophisticated as those to upload it to the web.

Companies like Microsoft dedicating resources to dealing with situations such as this is a big step in the right direction. De-listing files from search engines will make it more difficult for this content to be shared, and the zero-tolerance approach to OneDrive and Xbox Live certainly sets the correct precedent. However, the sad fact of the matter is that it’s not really companies like Microsoft who are at fault here — it’s the individuals sharing the content without consent in the first place.