Discovering that a mugshot photo on the first page of your search results can be a very humiliating experience, but it you are a working professional, then it can also cost you valuable financial opportunities. Due to the rapid internet upload of public records in states like Texas and Florida, many working professionals arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) are discovering that a day they would rather forget is now living in infamy in search engines like Google. How did it come to this?
The first source of the Mugshot Problem lies in a little unknown but very powerful law called the Communications Decency Act of 1994. This law passed under the Clinton Administration and gave websites protection from content posted by a third party, thus shielding them from defamation lawsuits. In essence, it means that sites like Google and Yahoo are given immunity from liable lawsuits because they simply provide the platform – and are not the originators of the content. Without the Communications Decency Act the internet would not exist as we know it today, because the risk of monetary damages would have long since hindered its growth.
The second source of the mugshot problem lies in something called State Transparency Laws. These Transparency Laws are simply defined as state government’s obligation to share information with citizens, and make that content easily accessible. The original intent of such laws were designed to hold state officials accountable, but the side effect of Transparency Laws has resulted in sensitive information like divorce decrees, bankruptcies, and booking photos from the local Sherriff’s Office landing on the first page of Google.
Once a mugshot photo has been uploaded to the internet by the arresting Sherriff’s department, it could become very difficult to remove, and will remain published as long as the mugshot website is active. The other annoying issue with mugshot websites is the sheer size of their databases inadvertently gives the sites page ranking strength in Google, causing the negative links to land at the very top of search results. Such is the case with many of the links from mugshot websites like WhoPostedBail.org and BailBondCity.com.
According to a New York Times article mugshot removal services like RemoveSlander.com has had experience removing mugshot photos from the internet, but even they admit that the process often feels like playing whack-a-mole.
“People eager to vanish from mug-shot sites can try a mug-shot removal service, a mini-industry that has sprung up in the last two years and is nearly as opaque as the one it is intended to counter. Motto: (“Bailout of the Internet for good!”).
The CEO of RemoveSlander.com suggest that a great starting point to gather as much information about published mugshots, is to search Google and add the word ‘Mugshot’ to the end of your name. In doing so he says that Google or Yahoo will return results that best match – and give you the opportunity to get all of the mugshot links destroyed at once.
If you or someone you know is having issues with mugshot photos on the first page of Google then RemoveSlander.com could provide a great deal of support and service to bring an end to the online humiliation. Simply visit RemoveSlander.com
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