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The Google search homepage. Photo: David Gray/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Users will now be able to submit requests to remove images of minors from Google search results, the tech giant announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: The move comes amid outrage over Facebook's negative effect on teens' mental health and lack of protections for children. In the wake of criticism from senators, tech companies are scrambling to set themselves apart.

How it works: Anyone under the age of 18, their parent or a guardian can fill out a form to report the image appearing in search results.

  • Users will be able to include image URLs, search query terms that lead to the image and links for search pages that contain the image.
  • Google teams will review the request and reach out if they need additional information. If the request meets the company's requirement, the image will be taken down and the user will be notified, according to Google's statement.

Yes, but: Removing an image from Google results doesn't make it disappear from the internet entirely, the company cautions.

What they're saying: "We believe this change will help give young people more control over their digital footprint and where their images can be found on Search," Danny Sullivan, Google's public liaison for Search, said in the announcement.

  • The company had said earlier this year that it would pursue steps to bolster minors' privacy and ensure protection for their mental well-being.

The big picture: Senators from both parties are urging tech executives to go on the record supporting various legislative changes to laws covering online content liability, privacy and children's safety.

Go deeper

Georgia newspapers take Google, Facebook to court

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Georgia newspaper companies and their counterparts around the country have been filing antitrust civil action lawsuits against Google and Facebook for the past year, alleging the two firms have monopolized the digital advertising market, constricting revenue that would otherwise go to local news.

Why it matters: What started as a small-town effort to take a stand against Big Tech has turned into a national movement, with over 200 newspapers involved across dozens of states, Axios' Sara Fischer and Kristal Dixon report.

Overseas telcos: Make Big Tech pay more for bandwidth

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Overseas telecom providers, increasingly frustrated with American tech firms whose apps are gobbling up bandwidth, are pushing them to pay more for it.

Why it matters: Any effort to reslice the "cost of internet bandwidth" pie could shake up the entire industry, make new winners and losers, and put new pressure on U.S. tech giants.

California father and son accused of "reckless arson" in Calder Fire

Firefighters at the Caldor Fire along Highway 89 west of Lake Tahoe, California, in September. Photo: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California officials said they arrested a father and son Wednesday on suspicion of starting the Caldor Fire, which threatened the Lake Tahoe area as it burned for over two months earlier this year. They deny any wrongdoing.

Why it matters: The wildfire was the 15th-biggest ever recorded in California, razing more than 1,000 structures, forcing thousands to evacuate and injuring five people as it burned across nearly 222,000 acres of land in El Dorado, Amador and Alpine counties.