|Hat tip to PC World for letting us all know about Google's new tool that helps us take action against online reputation attacks. Curious mostly about the implications for removing objectionable content, we decided to check it out. In the post, we see a number of mentions on persistent issues facing brands who have online reputational issues - the post states:|
The new application, called Me on the Web, is aimed at people interested in tracking online references to their names and to other personal information that may be slanderous, inappropriate or incorrect.
The post goes on to state that in order to take advantage of this new reputation managing tool, you need to have a Google Account, and that the Me tool is located in the Google Accounts dashboard section.
We visited the site and found the link that allows one to manage their online profile - just as the article suggests, it's called "Me on the Web."
The links under this section are as follows:
Set up search alerts for your data
How to manage your online identity
How to remove unwanted content
About Me on the Web
We took a moment to visit the "How to remove unwanted content" link and quickly found a familiar reporting mechanism called Remove a page or site from Google's search results. I mention it's familiar because we have attempted to use this tool in the past to deal with defamatory/libelous online blog posts on Blogger and found that it got us nowhere.
With this being branded as a "NEW" offering, we thought to try again anyway. Because we had been through this before, we skipped all the conditions for removal and jumped straight to the removal tool/form, and we were presented with several options specifying the nature of our request.
When trying to select the option which states: I have found content that may be defamation/libel, Google emphasizes rather clearly in bold text:
We do not remove allegedly defamatory content from www.google.com or any other U.S. dot com domains.
Contrary to what the PC World article suggests as far as Me on the Web helping with defamation and libelous posts, the above bolded quote clearly states that without a legal basis (i.e. copyright violation), Google's objectionable content removal tool does nothing to help. In fact the form doesn't allow you to proceed any further unless there is a legal basis for content removal.
So it seems more same-ole same-ole with regard to Google tackling content removal, and with the majority of reputation harming content being defamation and libel, unfortunately Google doesn't appear to be doing anything new, much less tackling online reputation management with any teeth.