Mug Shot Website Fallout Raises a Bigger Question

Mugshots of Lindsay Lohan from 2007 through 2013 Photographs by Santa Monica Police Station and Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department via Getty Images

As described in a New York Times story over the weekend—which for some reason chose to save this information until the end—Google has tweaked its search algorithm and downgraded the PageRank of “mug shot” websites, which post police snapshots of random people and in some cases charge to have them removed. MasterCard has also taken steps to cut off such sites from using its online payment systems.

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