More than 70,000 users have already asked Google to remove from the search results the links of over 276,000 websites that involve them. This way they exploit the decision of the Court of the European Union made in May, according to which everyone has the right to require the deletion of data that is outdated, irrelevant or inaccurate, to clean his online profile. From May 30 started the deletion and lasted until June 30, ie within a single month, the requests to Google made an average rate of about 1,000 per day and are an average of 3.8 links per user request. Most applications have been made in France, followed by Germany and Britain. It remains unclear how many of the approximately 70,000 applications for remission have been satisfied.
However, this development has cause side effects and has sparked journalistic accusations, as Google moves to delete some articles, which are opposed even by the writers, such as economic journalists of BBC, who protested strongly because of their article from 2007, which involved the former president of the investment firm Merrill Lynch, Stan O’Neal, disappeared from the popular search engine.
Something similar was done with several other articles from British newspapers, including The Guardian which reported that six previous articles have now been removed. The newspaper said that Google did not give any explanation for the removal, or the ability to set aside that judgment. Among the articles disappeared, including news about a referee scandal in the British championship, a couple caught having sex in a train and a Muslim who has accused the Cathay Pacific airline that they didn’t hire him because of his name.
Google has said that any request to delete someone or something, will be examined on an individual basis and will decide whether it meets the criteria for the judgment of the Court, according to the AFP, the BBC, the New York Times and The Guardian. European Commission representative commented, by the Vice Neelie Kroes, that removing the article from the BBC search results was not a good decision, as there seems to be justified by a reasonable public interest. As said, the meaning of the judgment is not to allow people to photoshop their lives.
Note that the disappearance appears only in Europe, but if someone does the same web search from the U.S. via the address Google.com, the forgotten links appear like normal. Also, the articles have not stopped appearing on the websites of the same media that post initially. The share of searches on Google in Europe is 85% to 90%, while in the U.S. under 70%.
By Nicole P.