(Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images)

Microsoft is stepping up its efforts to protect the privacy of people sharing intimate and explicit photos with their loved ones: The company said it'll no longer tolerate "revenge porn,” and announced a new, dedicated Web site Wednesday to help victims report abuse.

The reporting page will help users make takedown requests. Microsoft said that sexually explicit images and videos that have been shared without the subject's consent will be delisted from Bing search results, and if the content happens to be hosted on Microsoft's proprietary storage platforms, like OneDrive or Xbox Live, they will be deleted outright in response to individual complaints.

"By helping to address requests and to remove these extremely personal photos and videos from our services," Microsoft said in a blog post, "we can better support victims as they work to re-claim their privacy, and help to push just a little further in the fight against this despicable practice."

[reddit is finally cracking down on revenge porn]

It's another win for opponents of digital exploitation and privacy advocates amid a wave of similar steps by other companies. Reddit banned revenge porn from its site in February. Twitter took action in March. And last month, Google said it would honor requests to scrub links to revenge porn from its search engine.

[Twitter updates its rules to specifically ban ‘revenge porn’]

[Google joins the war on ‘revenge porn’]

If that tactic sounds a little familiar, you're not wrong: The practice of delisting certain sites from search engines is consistent with a principle known as the right to be forgotten, a policy that's been hotly debated in Europe. There, people who believe their searchable past may haunt their future can ask companies like Google to remove any trace of themselves from search results. Although the content may still exist online independently of Google, it’d be effectively hidden from users of the search engine.

Legal analysts say it's highly unlikely that the right to be forgotten would ever be formally carried over into the United States. It raises potential censorship and First Amendment complications that are unique to the American legal system.

But that clearly doesn't preclude the importation of a more limited and voluntary form of the right to be forgotten — a right to be forgotten lite, as it were. As we're seeing now with Google and Microsoft, some companies are concluding that it's much better to protect the privacy of their users than to adopt a maximalist view of free speech.