What Are Your Options When Your Mugshot Appears on Google

Article written by Pierre Zarokian of Reputation Stars.

remove_mugshots_from_googleArrests happen, but there is no reason that most people need to be reminded of something like petty theft or drugs when they are seeking a professional career. People change, mugshots aren’t a complete representation of who we are. If your mugshot appears on Google, it’s tempting to feel like you have few options to help defend yourself. Try not to panic. We’ve assembled this list of options you can use to try and get your mugshot removed.

Takedown Notices

The first course of action most people attempt is the DMCA takedown notice. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act gives users the right to claim ownership over content and ask that it be removed from sites that host it. The problem with this approach is that the content was acquired usually through the Freedom of Information Act, or from another anonymous poster. You also cannot claim ownership over a mugshot within the federal database. So this method would rarely work!

Contacting the Webmaster

The other challenge you have, before you ever send the takedown notice, is that you need to locate the webmaster. Most webmasters in this business utilize some form of domain privacy, which obscures any personal information related to an account. It covers up names, addresses and other points of contact. It’s true that these services deter hacking, but they also protect webmasters who use gossip as a business model.

The Future

Google is beginning to recognize mugshot websites as a problem, but it not taking any aggressive moves to ban them. They still offer users no course of action to get something removed on their own either. Mugshot removal is not done in a vacuum either. Assuming your mugshot will not return is a poor long term plan to protect your reputation. It’s likely that whoever posted your mugshot in the first place will do so again in the future, so you need to be prepared to respond. Paying one website for mugshot removal does nothing for any others that may host the same content.

The best method you have is deploying a team of reputation management experts who can monitor the Web for you.