How To Get A Mugshot Off The Internet
Table of Contents
1. Search for all your published arrest records.
The first step in removing your images from the internet is to take an inventory of the images that are published online. You may want to use a spreadsheet or a word document to paste in the different websites or URLs that are publishing your arrest records online. You may want to gather any documentation you have related to the arrest as well. A majority of our clients at RemoveMyMugshot.org have never been convicted of a crime. They were simply at the wrong place at the wrong time or falsely arrested because they were associating with the wrong people. Paperwork stating that your case was dismissed, expunged, or sealed can be useful later in the process of dealing with the many different websites that publish this information. It’s important to remember not to click on the images too often. That’s why we recommend taking an inventory of all the URLs and pasting them into a document so when you need to check on their status you can easily find the web pages without searching for them again in Google which can make them appear higher in the search results especially if you are clicking the image. We have a tool in beta that you can use to search located here.
2. Look for contact information on the website.
Once you have a list of all the websites that are publishing mugshot information online you want to see what their removal policies are. Some websites will remove an image by simply asking. Some websites are going to ask for documentation ranging from your state-issued identification to court documents related to the disposition of your case. Some websites will completely remove the page others will keep the page up and use a placeholder image with your name in order to maintain traffic and advertising revenue. Most websites have some type of contact information on them especially if they rely on ranking in Google or other search engines. You will want to look in the footer (bottom) of the website for a link to a contact page or other contact information. On the contact page, you can look for a contact form, email address, or phone number. On rare occasions, you can find the contact information for a website via a whois search. We have also compiled an extensive list of contact information for the most popular mugshot websites, saving you some time.
3. If no response, try contacting Google.
If you were able to get a mugshot removed but it is still lingering in the search results you may need to ask Google to remove the image directly. This can happen when a website has removed content but Google has not visited the website since the content was removed. Sending a request to Google via Webmaster Tools will let Google know that there is some possibly outdated content in their index. You can do this here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/removals
If the content is still on the website the above process will not work. But instead, you can send a request directly to Google asking to remove content on websites with exploitative removal practices. Click here for access to this form. There is no guarantee that Google will remove the content by simply filling out these forms. Sometimes the content can get re-indexed or Google may think you have not met the threshold for proving that a website is abusive in its removal policies. Check our in-depth guide on how to remove mugshots from the internet yourself.
4. If it’s on Facebook report the image.
A lot of time smaller mugshot websites that can’t rank well in Google will try to piggyback in Google via social media sites like Facebook and Google. Since they small websites can’t rank they will post images on Facebook as well as their own website. Mugshots tend to do well in the Facebook algorithm since people will click on the images to see if anyone they know has been arrested. The sharing of images also feeds into the Facebook algo. You can report the image to Facebook’s moderation team. The best way to get rid of the image is to flag it yourself and to get any other people you may know on the platform to flag it as well. You should also upload some of your own photos and make them public on the Facebook platform. Then request that your friends share them as well in order to suppress any mugshot images appearing in a search on Facebook or Google.
5. Build up your web presence and suppress it.
Removing a mugshot is an uncertain and irritating process to endure. An unknown individual is causing grief to millions of innocent people for their own personal monetary gain. This image can trigger job loss, bullying, eviction, and rejection. Paying a company that works directly with a mugshot publisher to remove the images isn’t going to solve the problem either. Preventing that image from becoming visible on any platform is the ideal long-term and permanent way to end the financial incentive to publishing mug shots under the pretense of public record laws. There are many websites that anyone can create a presence on that will outrank mugshot websites on domain authority alone. This simply means that there are many websites that Google trusts more. Think Amazon.com vs spacecoastdaily.com. Think Reddit vs WhoGotBusted. Think Medium.com vs TheGeorgiaGazette.com. Stating out with your own website is a great way to lay a solid foundation for what Google tells the world about you. Then build out a web presence on trusted web platforms with a link back to your website tells Google what information to trust when displaying results about you.
6. Hire a reputation management company.
We have gone through all of the options available to remove a mugshot from the internet. The basics boil down to attempt to get the website itself to remove the image, get the platform (Google / Facebook / Bing) its on to remove the image, and lastly attacking the mugshot directly on the platform by using that platform’s algorithm to work in your favor. After all, if you make the algorithm think your content is the best and most relevant for a query like your name, then that content floats to the top. Luckily in a search for your name the competition is low and you can do this on your own fairly easily. But if you are strapped for time or would prefer not to deal with improving your own online reputation then you should consider using a reputation management company with executive-level strategies to radiate and lift clients in the search results.
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