Picture being used for something unpleasant
March 15, 2013 11:40 AM   Subscribe

If you do a Google search on my name, the only image that comes up via image search is an old picture that used to be hosted on my work website. But now it links to an... unsavory website. What is the deal?

I've never been to this website, and it's not a very high quality one. What is even more bazaar is that under Google images when you do the initial search, it references another website as being the host of this image (which is totally legit, but still not my work website), but then it redirects to this a different (distasteful) website if you select "visit page." I thought perhaps it was a strange virus, but it seems to be doing this from other computers, as well.

Usually I'd say screw it, but it's the only picture of me that shows up if someone is searching for me, and it's a negative association. So two questions:

1. Why is this happening? Did something that Google automates get its links and reference mixed up? Or, is a website doing something sophisticated to co-opt this picture to redirect it?

2. Is there a way to disconnect my picture from this website via a Google contact?

posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
Does your image actually show on the site after the redirect? It could be that the website hosting the image has been hacked, and is redirecting visitors to the dodgy site.
posted by gregjones at 11:45 AM on March 15, 2013

A simple, quick'n'dirty fix might be to make sure that there are ten other pictures of you that come up first. For example, make sure you have a LinkedIn profile with your picture on it. And a Twitter profile. And so forth.

These days it's a good idea to have a social media presence if only so that you control how you present to people Googling you.
posted by musofire at 11:48 AM on March 15, 2013 [5 favorites]

I don't know why your pic is on the dodgy site, but there is a strong trade in websites that effectively mine information and images on people as clickbait, all the more so when that information is hosted on a high ranking website. Perhaps this is what has happened here.

After this unfortunate byline on a story concerning sex scandals in the Catholic church, Roger Boyes called in reputation managers so that his name didn't become a ongoing joke.

tl:dr: flood social media with stuff you control to regain control over what people see when they search for you.
posted by MuffinMan at 11:49 AM on March 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

Report it to Google? My understanding is that they frown heavily upon sites returning different results to them as to normal users.
posted by Yowser at 12:04 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

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