Reporting Images on Google

As a content marketer, you have probably needed to find an image to spruce up your content. Unfortunately, with so many images uploaded to Google every day, the likelihood of stumbling upon an unsavory photo before Google finds it and takes it down is not zero. Sometimes Google images will return inappropriate pictures or offensive images for a very innocent search. In cases like these, it is important to know how to report images on Google. In this article, you will learn how to report images on Google.

inappropriate pictures

How Does Google Images Work?

Google Images is a Google image search service. Just as the Google search engine use algorithms to return the best results for a specific search query, Google Images have their own algorithms that return images for a specific search query. Images are collected from all corners of the internet and sorted based on many algorithms, not all of which are understood. The main way that Google Images sorts images is based on how closely the file name of an image matches the keywords in a search query and contextual information. 

Although Google Images has become very good at returning the best results based on the entered search query, sometimes matching images contain inappropriate images or offensive pictures. Most of the time Google will automatically filter out the worst of the content, but if it is not illegal, they have no reason to filter it out if it matches the search. Sometimes Google’s filtering systems allow inappropriate content that would otherwise be filtered out to slip through. In these cases, it is important to learn how to report images on Google. If the content truly slipped through Google’s content filtering system, they will correct the problem and disallow other searchers from coming across the inappropriate image or offensive picture.

Finding Images

Oftentimes as marketers, we will look for images that will engage our audience and help spur them into action. Choosing the right images is important, but vetting those images is just as important. Not only do you need to check the copyright to make sure you legally can use the image, but you also need to look closely at the image. Sadly, sometimes people will upload images with someone’s personal information or use their face without permission. Make sure that all things are in order before you upload the picture with your content. It is better to identify potential problems before choosing an image. There are many images online to choose from, so if you suspect that there could be an issue, it is best to choose something different.

If you are certain that the image violates Google Image’s terms of service, you will need to report it. Learning how to report images on Google and when to report images on Google can help make the internet a safer place.

offensive images

Reporting Images

Luckily, though it has changed throughout the years, learning how to report images on Google today is very easy. When a Google Image search results in an inappropriate or offensive image, the steps are easy. All you need to do is click the image, select the three vertical dots at the top of the image, and click report this result. Selecting the report this result button will cause a feedback form to pop up. This is your opportunity to describe why the image goes against Google’s rules. You can write about what is wrong with the image and include screenshots highlighting the offensive or inappropriate aspects of the image. Once you report the image, all you can do is wait for Google to review your report and decide whether or not it should be taken down.

Inappropriate Pictures

Sometimes you will not need to know how to report images on Google if you are only looking to avoid explicit images. If you are looking to avoid inappropriate pictures of an explicit nature, Google Images has a SafeSearch option. To enable Google’s SafeSearch, all you need to do is select the SafeSearch dropdown menu located in the right-hand corner of the Google Images page. Once you click the SafeSearch dropdown menu, the option to hide explicit content will be available. Click hide explicit content to hide those types of images. You should no longer see any sexually explicit, gory, or violent images. It is important to note that these images will only be blocked by Google’s image search. These images will still be available on other search engines and the websites where they originated.

There is always a possibility that an inappropriate image can slip through the cracks of Google’s inappropriate pictures detection process. If that is the case, you will want to report the image. The process differs from the process of reporting images in the general search. You will want to go to Google’s SafeSearch reporting feature and input the URL connected to the inappropriate picture.

Offensive Images

While searching for images, you might come across something that you find offensive. While you might not like it, it does not necessarily mean that it goes against Google’s terms of service. If this is the case, you will be better off turning on SafeSearch rather than reporting the image.

If someone has uploaded your content, your first course of action should be to contact the site owner. Once it is removed from the site, Google will update to no longer show the image on the search results page.

If they refuse to remove the image, you can escalate the issue to Google. Google has the power to remove the image from the Google search, but they do not have the power to remove the image from the originating website. Go to Google’s removal request form and enter the offending image’s URL. 

reporting images

Illegal Images

While an image might contain reportable material, that does not necessarily mean it is illegal. If you come across images with illegal content, there may be a few extra steps you need to take. How you proceed will depend on what type of illegal content is depicted. 

Child Abuse

Protecting children is very important. Any content involving material victimizing children needs to be reported immediately. You can report this material to Google. However, in addition to that, you should contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children or an organization specific to your geographic region. If you believe a child is in imminent danger, you should contact the authorities immediately.

Private Information and Exploitative Content

If someone has illegally uploaded your private information or exploitative content of you, you can request for Google to remove it. Google has an in-depth request form that allows users to request the removal of images or content with personal or exploitative information like ID numbers and private documents, explicit images, content on websites with exploitative removal processes, content that should be removed for legal reasons, and images of people currently under the age of 18. 

Once again, if you believe that an image shows that someone is in danger, it is of the utmost importance that you contact the police.


Another form of illegal content would be content that violates the copyright of someone. If someone violates your copyright, you should ask them to remove it. If they do not, you can escalate and possibly take legal action against the offending party. Or, if you have violated someone else’s copyright, you should remove the image. Otherwise, they are entitled to take legal action against you. Avoid the issue of copyright to begin with and do your research. There are plenty of free-to-use options online.

How to report images on Google

Removing Images From Google Images

While you cannot control the content posted by other people, you can control what you post online. If you find that you have accidentally uploaded an image with someone else’s personal information or violated another person’s copyright you should take the image down immediately. Once it is deleted from your website or social media, Google will update the Google Images search results to no longer include the photo.

Reporting Images on Google

Finding the right images for your marketing efforts can be difficult. The internet is full of amazing images to choose from, but it is also full of offensive images and inappropriate pictures that need to be removed. In addition to that, navigating copyright is not always straightforward. Learning how to report images on Google will improve your image research experience. It will also make the internet a much more pleasurable experience for all. 

If you are having trouble finding the right images for your marketing efforts, SEO Design Chicago is here to help. We have many talented content creators who can help you navigate the process of finding the best copyright-free images. If you have any further questions about how to report images on Google, SEO Design Chicago can help.


  • What images should I report on Google?
  • What do I do if someone posts explicit content?
  • How do I find legal images for marketing?
  • What should I do if an image contains my personal information?
  • How does Google Images work?

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