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Google Reinstating Some 'Forgotten' Links

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the now-that-a-point-has-been-made dept.

Google 74

An anonymous reader writes Only days after receiving harsh criticism from all corners of the internet for taking down links to news articles, Google has started to reinstate those links. Google's Peter Barron denied that they were simply granting all "right to be forgotten" requests. "The European Court of Justice [ECJ] ruling was not something that we welcomed, that we wanted — but it is now the law in Europe and we are obliged to comply with that law," he said. Still, Google's actions are being called "tactical" for how quickly they were able to stir public dissent over the EU ruling. "It's convenient, then, that it's found a way to get the media to kick up the fuss for it: there are very few news organisations in the world who are happy to hear their output is being stifled. A few automated messages later, the story is back in the headlines – and Google is likely to be happy about that."

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Hmm, (3, Funny)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 4 months ago | (#47385247)

I totally forgot about this story until just now.

As "tactical" as an nuclear bomb (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47385261)

Did anyone honestly expect anything less? The "right to be forgotten" was bound to disproportionately hit news organizations by nature.

Re:As "tactical" as an nuclear bomb (2)

Cryacin (657549) | about 4 months ago | (#47385273)

Sorry I forgot what we were talking about?

As (2)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 4 months ago | (#47386215)

I think "right to be forgotten" is in the face of my "right to recall what was said about you!"

Re: As "tactical" as an nuclear bomb (1)

RAVEN2 (1368873) | about 4 months ago | (#47394761)

Sterling who?

google doens't need to stir up dissent (5, Insightful)

Nyder (754090) | about 4 months ago | (#47385271)

People see this law for what it is, a way for the rich/politicians/scum to get rid of stories that make them look like the twats they are.

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (1)

Meshach (578918) | about 4 months ago | (#47385293)

People see this law for what it is, a way for the rich/politicians/scum to get rid of stories that make them look like the twats they are.

To be fair the idea is for results that are libelous or potentially (legally) damaging to a person to be removed. Making someone look like a twat is not to be removed (or at least should not be deleted). Google seems to be pushing the envelope on what they are removing to provoke resistance to the law in the hope of getting it changed.

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47385321)

Results that are libelous should result in court cases against the persons making the libelous publications. Following their conviction in a court of law, the judge should rule that the offending content should be suppressed. This ludicrous hassling of search indexes is not the answer.

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 4 months ago | (#47387435)

It's got nothing at all to do with libel. The Data Protection rules concern information about individuals gathered by commercial entities. If a company wants to hold people's personal details they must abide by the rules. One of the rules is that information can only be kept as long as it is relevant and up to date. This was originally to stop companies keeping people on file indefinitely after their relationship had long ago ended, and the data becoming increasingly inaccurate. Everything from junk mail sent to old addresses because you bought one thing 20 years ago to companies selling databases was an issue.

This was back in 1995 though, when search engines were primitive and little personal data was online. The rules need updating, and the EU is trying but member states can't agree.

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (2)

DarkOx (621550) | about 4 months ago | (#47385353)

There is already a remedy for that though, if its libel than you sue for libel; so either this law is nothing new or its something entirely new that people claim it is and away for people to whitewash facts about themselves.

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47386041)

Good point, Einstein.

Now, when said information is on 10 different websites hosted in 10 different jurisdictions, could I get YOU to do all the administrative / legal footwork required to take down these libelous postings?

I suspect you would rather have the links removed from a single website that covers 90% of all searches.

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (5, Interesting)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about 4 months ago | (#47385691)

There are plenty of laws in existence to deal with libelous or legally damaging stories on the internet. Why does this law need to exist outside of those existing methods? Well, that would be to force Google to do the job of the courts in the EU, of course.

Personally, I wouldn't have a problem if all these instances were adjudicated by a court first, and Google was handed a list of "when a user searches for this, this specific link should be omitted" rather than the cop out "Google has to look at each request and decide what fits" BS.

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 4 months ago | (#47386153)

To be fair the idea is for results that are libelous or potentially (legally) damaging to a person to be removed

To be fair, libel laws have been around for centuries, why is google now being expected to preempt a decision that should be made by a court?

Google seems to be pushing the envelope on what they are removing to provoke resistance

Of course they are, rule #1 if you don't want the job then make a dogs breakfast of the whole thing. This "self censorship" push by the EU is a gigantic burden on ALL search companies. If I were in google's shoes I'd wouldn't even bother reading the complaints, I'd automatically unlink the site and very loudly proclaim I cannot be expected to adjudicate on all of Europe's libel and deformation claims. Then just wait and hope to hell it provokes enough outrage from publishers to put these decisions back where they belong, in a court and aimed at the author.

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#47385385)

There are a lot of europeans on reddit and slashdot who heartily defend this law.

Re: google doens't need to stir up dissent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47385457)

Upboated, liked, and subscribed. lel XD

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (2)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | about 4 months ago | (#47385503)

Yeah, I also noticed that. It surprised me how many Europeans were actually defending censorship. Are they surprised that censorship ends poorly?

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47385593)

The idea that you should be able to publish anything you want anywhere (you own) is a peculiarly American idea. It's probably because the US was founded by businessmen who understand that it's far more subtle to buy out the presses, lie a lot and simply drown out dissenting speech (until it gets slightly too loud for comfort - then you bring the guns in) than it is to simply say, "No, you can't spread bullshit."

This is why people can call for suffering for blacks and gays until the end of days and pay for dishonest political campaigns, but the only way you're going to reach a large audience is to be part of half a dozen media conglomerates. And if you say something really worth listening to - speak information about abuse in government security services, for example - suddenly your freedom to speak disappears entirely.

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47385801)

The American concept of Free Speech is a recent invention, stemming from a long series of Supreme Court decisions beginning in the 1920s. In the 18th and 19th centuries American governments regularly passed laws restricting speech in the name of security and keeping the peace.

For example, when the Alien & Sedition Acts were passed, while Democrats like Thomas Jefferson were vehemently opposed, nobody would have thought to argue it unconstitutional on Free Speech grounds. They used every argument in the book _except_ Free Speech, because everybody intuitively believed that government had the powers to restrict Free Speech that way (the First Amendment was understood to prevent capricious and arbitrary restrictions on Free Speech unrelated to a general public interest). But today that's instinctively how any American, whether a lawyer or not, would frame the argument--as a Free Speech issue.

The modern concept of Privacy is also relatively recent, taking root in the mid-20th century. But in America the Free Speech train had already left the station and was already in tension with new theories on Privacy--beyond the very old, very circumscribed Common Law "privacy" rights we enjoyed. Whereas in Europe concepts of Privacy evolved unrestricted by an exceptionally strict view about individual Free Speech.

As an American, I believe in strong Free Speech rights. At this point its a fundamental part of our world view, even though most Americans erroneously believe it was always that way. And unlike in Europe, our society has already adapted to our radical form of transparency. OTOH, our strain of legal theory regarding Free Speech is being appropriated to restrict other rights and privileges. For example, to restrict commercial regulation of corporations. In other words, Free Speech is being leveraged to enable certain economic theories. And even though I'm quite a liberal capitalist, I don't appreciate that development; for one thing, it might lead to a backlash later on against individual Free Speech rights.

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (3, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | about 4 months ago | (#47386045)

For example, when the Alien & Sedition Acts were passed, while Democrats like Thomas Jefferson were vehemently opposed, nobody would have thought to argue it unconstitutional on Free Speech grounds.

Democratic-Republicans -- usually called Republicans -- if you please. Jefferson's party is the parent of both parties today, though he'd hardly recognize either. And of course they were argued as unconstitutional on free speech grounds. See the third Kentucky Resolution.

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (1)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 4 months ago | (#47386859)

Democratic-Republicans -- usually called Republicans -- if you please. Jefferson's party is the parent of both parties today, though he'd hardly recognize either.

Not quite. Yes, the Democratic-Republicans were generally referred to as simply "Republicans," but they have no direct relationship to modern Republicans at all. The Democratic-Republicans eventually split into the Democrats and the Whig Party (anti-Jacksonians) in the 1830s. In the 1850s, a new party -- who took up the defunct "Republican" name, aka the Grand Old Party (GOP) -- emerged and supplanted the Whigs. Since this new party emerged from a coalition of various fragmented parties after the Whigs destructed in 1852, it doesn't really make sense to connect them to the earlier Democratic-Republicans.

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47391241)

Have you read the Kentucky Resolution? Read it carefully.

The Kentucky Resolution was about state rights. It argued that the power to restrict freedom of speech and of the press was solely the domain of the states.

"that thus was manifested their determination to retain to themselves [the states] the right of judging how far the licentiousness of speech, and of the press, may be abridged without lessening their useful freedom"

The argument wasn't that the Alien & Sedition Acts violated free speech rights, but that only the states could enact such laws. But if you accepted that the Federal government had the power to pass the Alien & Sedition Acts, then it was accepted that they also had the power to judge how far to suppress the freedom of speech in furtherance of their primary legislative objective.

So, again, as it was understood at the time of this country's founding, a duly elected legislature exercising its legitimate powers had wide latitude to make the judgement call about how far to suppress speech. And almost always this was in the context of maintaining the peace and security of the community. It was a "police power" to suppress speech, but Virginia and Kentucky were arguing that the Federal government did not have a general police power, even if the issue concerned national security.

It's undeniable that our modern conception of free speech is novel. This is why both the federal and state governments were able to throw abolitionists, unionists, communists, "agitators", and any other class of people they disliked in jail for simply publishing literature or assembling in public or private. Read your history books and ask yourself how the heck any court could have upheld half of the government actions you read about (as they regularly did) if the 1st Amendment and similar state constitutional clauses meant anything even remotely like we interpret them today.

It makes even more sense when you realize that it wasn't even settled law until 1803 (at the very earliest, but not really even then) that a Federal court could invalidate a law passed by Congress and signed into law by the President. Some of the Founding Fathers would have understood the system to work that way, but many didn't. A great number of people held the opinion that although the federal constitution limited the powers of the federal government, it was up to Congress to make the judgement call. If they chose wrongly in the opinion of a state, that state could secede or ignore the law (which was much easier in practice as the jurisdiction of federal courts was severely limited), but that idea never panned out, neither after the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, nor with the Civil War. In any event, the idea that the legislature was the sole arbiter of judging the constitutionality of its laws was a widely held belief, not least because it was the settled law of England, where Parliament was supreme and no court could invalidate a law duly passed by Parliament.

The entire _idea_ of America wasn't that Parliament's laws were invalid for violating the rights of Americans. But that once American's rights had been continually violated by otherwise legally enacted and enforceable laws, they had the right and the prerogative to overthrow their existing government and establish a new one. England _had_ a constitution, and it was made not one difference that it was a so-called "unwritten" constitution. There's nothing magical about a piece of parchment paper.

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (3, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 4 months ago | (#47386319)

It's probably because the US was founded by businessmen

You do realise that the Magna Carta was forced upon the crown by wealthy mearchants, right?

Yes, Europe puts more restrictions on the fourth estate, they did after all have some serious propaganda problems with Germany in the 1930's leading to everyone pulling out their guns in the 1940's. The right to free speech is enshrined in the UN declaration of HR which almost all nations are party to but none actually implement in full.

European restrictions are traditionally enforced by libel and deformation actions in court. Outsourcing the decisions to google is being sold to people as a "right", in the same way that "keeping the peace" has already been sold to American's as the right to bear arms. Few people actual buy a gun to kill a specific person but most American's think that maybe one day I will need it. Well, it's the same behaviour here with Europeans, they figure that maybe, one day, they will do something that they want the internet to forget. Call it a "right" and suddenly they will defend it to their last breath.

Ironic how this issue leads to a discussion about just how powerful language can be in persuading humans to vote against their own self-interest, no? We are all susceptible to this behaviour to some degree, and if your arrogant enough to believe it can't happen to you, you're probably already serving in an army of "useful idiots".

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 4 months ago | (#47387425)

Outsourcing the decisions to google is being sold to people as a "right"

Actually this isn't the "right to be forgotten" at all, the press just started calling it that because they were confused. The original right to be forgotten was only concerned with data you yourself provided. In other words you can ask for your Facebook account to be deleted, and it really must be completely deleted and not just made dormant.

The current issue with Google is actually based on data protection rules dating back to 1995. Google gathers information on individuals without their explicit permission, much like a credit reference agency. Therefore Google is subject to the same rules.

The EU has been trying to update the data protection rules for some time, in expectation of something like this happening. The right to be forgotten would have been included in the update, further adding to the confusion. Unfortunately member states can't agree on the new rules, so the much needed update has not come yet.

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (4, Funny)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 4 months ago | (#47385759)

How can Europeans know that censorship ends poorly when nobody's allowed to tell them about it?

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 4 months ago | (#47387415)

It's because we have a different idea of what freedom is.

To us the idea that if you make it mistake it will be held against you forever and knowledge of it made available to everyone indefinitely doesn't sound like freedom. I understand that in the US once you get say a criminal record or have financial problems they never go away completely and will be noted by every employer and financial institution you deal with for the rest of your life. Essentially your life is blighted and you can never be rehabilitated.

In Europe many mistakes are eventually forgiven and forgotten. Not all of course, some crimes are serious enough to warrant being permanently associated with an individual, and of course (in)famous people can do little to make people forget beyond changing their identity. For the average person though something like bankruptcy will eventually be left behind and they can be fully rehabilitated, free to participate fully in society again.

US freedom is more like freedom from interference. People don't mess with you, but on the other hand if something bad happens no-one helps you either. In Europe freedom means the freedom to live a reasonably pleasant life, with opportunities and people who love you, and with some protection against the worst things that can happen to a person. That's why the European Charter on Human Rights lists things like privacy, having a family life, shelter and basic medical care as human rights. A person suffers and has less freedom without those things.

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | about 4 months ago | (#47387465)

So to you freedom is telling other people what they can and can't say and what public information they can and can't access because the truth could be abused? From where I'm standing it looks like you're trying to tell me that censorship is freedom, and it sounds more than a little Orwellian to me.

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 4 months ago | (#47387485)

So to you freedom is telling other people what they can and can't say and what public information they can and can't access because the truth could be abused?

No. Let's be absolutely clear here. No-one is required to actually forget this stuff, and no-one is prevented from talking about it or publishing more articles on the subject. All that is required is that a commercial company like Google respond to requests to remove the links from data they provide when searching for the individual's name. They can keep the data on file and return it for other search terms. The site hosting the article is not required to remove it. The criteria for removal are quite narrow.

In Europe companies are not people. They don't have free speech rights like individuals do. They are required by law to treat information about people in certain ways.

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47387815)

Yes, right, no one is being restricted from publishing new articles; its just that all external references to articles are being removed, which is essentially the same thing.

And yes, this has the effect of preventing from discussing the items, because there is no reasonable way to access the relevant background information.

This is fine, in theory, but the court fucked it up:because they placed the judgement with entities that have an incentive to apply a much more broad definition of irrelevance as they could face legal consequences for failing to remove a borderline case.

But hey, I've longly held the belief that most people don't like freedom of speech; they say they do, but they are quite willing to accept and push for restrictions for things that they don't like, so its not really surprising that people are rationalizing this decision.

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47390093)

you *have* freedom of speech. Every person has it.

But no corporation has the right to have a dossier about everything all persons worldwide ever did, be it so slightly.

do you *want* to be *always known as "the person who smoked pot while in college"/"the person who had to sell their second to last trouser to pay for a meal before his first job" / "the person who once believed vi to be inferior to emacs"?
If you were a VIP when doing these stuffs you have to live with it for longer, but my (and general european) point of view is that everybody has the right to have a clean slate after a while. Esecially for minor things, like having no money (as in the case google lost)

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | about 4 months ago | (#47390347)

Corporate issues have no bearing on this. Newspapers, radio stations, and television stations are also for profit entities but forcing them to remove articles or broadcasts is also censorship, or does their corporate nature make them fair game too? This is actively obfuscating public information to censor it.

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#47389213)

Everytime you remind them of examples, they mutter something about Godwin.

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 4 months ago | (#47386221)

It may surprise you to know that European's are people too - offer them a "right" they will take it and defend it, just like American's do with their handguns. And yes, this is state enforced self censorship, there are enough legal avenues to redress victims of libel and deformation. Sure they are imperfect even after centuries of case law but outsourcing the decision to google is certainly not the "gift" that many people think it is.

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 4 months ago | (#47387055)

I just want to point out, *everyone* does not like this law; just like *everyone* does not like handguns.

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47386229)

The ruling was just an EU shakedown of a foreign corporation to placate the steaming pile of populism pandering as reasoned policy. Where does the billions of dollars worth of fines levied by the EU on foreign tech companies eventually end up? Leave it to Europe to create an entire new level of government bureaucracy to siphon off even more money than their existing governments could do by themselves.

Re:google doens't need to stir up dissent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47386877)

People see this law for what it is, a way for the rich/politicians/scum to get rid of stories that make them look like the twats they are.

You mean, just like how Google handles DMCA takedown notices?

Uh... nope, didn't see Youtube taking down massive number of unrelated videos because of just one DMCA notice.

Surprise, surprise! It seems Google CAN and DID exercise human thought and caution when it comply with the law it wanted to comply, but acted clumsily and made a huge stink when forced to comply with a law it didn't want to comply.

Go on, Google, keep acting like a kid and play games with EU courts. One day you are going to slapped with a huge fine like Microsoft and maybe then you will finally take other countries' laws seriously.

Did you still get the links outside Europe (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 4 months ago | (#47385277)

say, in the US? If not, it's time to escalate this to the President, whose job is to defend American rights against all assaults, including the combined European Union.

Re:Did you still get the links outside Europe (2, Funny)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 4 months ago | (#47385299)

Ahehe heheh eh ahah AHAHAHAHAH. In other languages, jajajajajaja loloololol xaxaxaxaxaxa, or orc, kekekekekekeke.

Re:Did you still get the links outside Europe (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 4 months ago | (#47386077)

Someone gave this -1 troll. Ummm, that would be -1 orc, dumbass.

Re:Did you still get the links outside Europe (2)

Alphager (957739) | about 4 months ago | (#47385317)

Which one of your rights is assaulted when Google, a private enterprise, decides to not show you certain links?

Re:Did you still get the links outside Europe (4, Insightful)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 4 months ago | (#47385357)

Which rights of yours are being assaulted when politicians and 1%ers use Google privacy requests to snuff true information and private dissent under the guise of "privacy".

One man's right to "privacy" is another man's right to control your information.

My "right" to privacy can be used to conceal fraud, criminal activity, bad press and do it with the brute force of government on my side.

And the brute force of government is the power to make you poor, to have you arrested, to put you in jail if you do not comply.

Re:Did you still get the links outside Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47385667)

> My "right" to privacy can be used to conceal fraud, criminal activity, bad press and do it with the brute force of government on my side.

Not in this case. There is a broad public interest exception in the law. All of your examples clearly fall under the exception.

And that's why people are accusing google of abuse here - they are censoring things that do not qualify under the law. We are left to decide if that is a deliberate high-profile attempt by google to bias public opinion against the law (and in google's own economic interests) or simply incompetence on google's part. Neither choice looks good for google.

Re: Did you still get the links outside Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47385725)

And why should Google have to decide if every link requested to be taken down is "in the public interest?" Absurd. Of course they are going to get it wrong. Google is not a court of law. Forcing it to act like one will not end well.

Re:Did you still get the links outside Europe (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#47385395)

Google isnt deciding to, theyre being legally obligated to. Its not our rights, but theirs, and the danger to free speech when that is permitted.

Re:Did you still get the links outside Europe (1)

Carewolf (581105) | about 4 months ago | (#47387361)

No they are not. Google is deciding to do things that no law required them to. END OF STORY. Remember there is no new law here, the original case was about a specific Spanish law. Does that spanish law require taking down unrelated UK links? No!!

Re:Did you still get the links outside Europe (1)

Scarletdown (886459) | about 4 months ago | (#47386365)

Which one of your rights is assaulted when Google, a private enterprise, decides to not show you certain links?

Is Google one of the country's owners? Do they pull the strings of any of our lawmakers in D.C., lawmakers that were hired (aka voted in) by the citizens of this country? If they are controlling lawmakers, like other highly influential corporations do, then they should be considered to be acting on behalf of the government and the people that the government is supposed to serve. And thus, they should be required to observe and submit to the same safeguards and restrictions outlined in the Bill of Rights and the rest of the Constitution to which anyone else working under the banner of government is subject.

Re:Did you still get the links outside Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47385393)

yes asshole you should ask this chief of assholes in white house to send the marines to Europe to destroy what is left of protection of privacy. Great idea! We United Assholes of America hereby declare a war on EU because they value their privacy and decent enough to ask to remove some not so important links.

In case you have not noticed - the world does not share your values. Some of us value your wealth and lack of respect for other humans. This does indeed make your society special.

Just goes to show stupid legislation is stupid (1)

Crashmarik (635988) | about 4 months ago | (#47385323)

When I first heard about the "Right to be forgotten" I thought nice now how are they going to remove people's ability to remember ? More importantly just how many winston smiths will they need to turn things into un events because someone doesn't want to live with their actions ?

Re: Just goes to show stupid legislation is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47385367)

I'm wondering how many people do not know that this is just about search results when searching for the NAME if someone. Neither the article itself vanishes nor are the search results affected when you actually search for FACTS.

And this is much more important for ordinary people than for rich people. Because those just contract some SEO company to bury anything negative on the 12th page or so.

Re: Just goes to show stupid legislation is stupid (1)

Crashmarik (635988) | about 4 months ago | (#47385491)

You need to know what the right to be forgotten is

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R... [wikipedia.org]

The right to have data deleted.

Re:Just goes to show stupid legislation is stupid (1)

paiute (550198) | about 4 months ago | (#47385799)

how are they going to remove people's ability to remember ?

Folks, if you would just look right here for a moment. FLASH! What you just saw was the light of swamp gas reflecting off of the planet Venus.

The spirit behind the "right to be forgotten" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47385339)

It's very simple, if an influential politician wants to remove links to newspapers article about his old conviction for corruption before an election, then the "right to be forgotten" should apply. If a CEO wants the same, then it would be abusing the "right to be forgotten". Finally, if a non public figure little people wants to remove links to photographs showing him picking his nose when he was 12, then the "right to be forgotten" doesn't apply because serfs have no rights.

Google shows they're Republicans again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47385355)

by showing just how gleefully they destroyed information. They're getting more and more CONservative. I understand the group of idiot deletionists on Wikipedia that get off on destroying information since they're just a bunch of nutcases, but for a company to go from keeping and indexing information to loving to destroy it, is just sad. That happens in every group when they let Republicans in. Soon the Republicans only hire other people of their kind and the group is destroyed. Expect the next type of information Google to delete will be information about racists to protect their own kind.

Re:Google shows they're Republicans again... (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#47385403)

1) If you think Google leans to the right, you arent paying any attention to politics, their donations, or their policies. Like most tech sector companies, they lean to the left.
2) Theyre not doing it gleefully, theyre doing it to comply with the law in Europe-- which, I would note, is quite a bit to the left of the US.
3) Theyre also not complying as rapidly as the EU might want; theyre complying with the law, but requiring takedown requests to be specific and limited, and using a manual review process. Theres no automatic takedown, AFAIK.

Good rant though, aside from the gross factual inaccuracies.

Re:Google shows they're Republicans again... (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 4 months ago | (#47385447)

1) If you think Google leans to the right, you arent paying any attention to politics, their donations, or their policies. Like most tech sector companies, they lean to the left.

I think in this case you need to ask "Of what?"

In the US, Google obviously leans to the left of the political spectrum. But the US spectrum is skewed heavily to the right, so that's not saying much.

In the EU, which includes true socialist countries, I'd say Google is a bit right of centre. However, I'm not sure of who Google has been donating to in the EU; the EU doesn't tend to take as kindly to political bribery as the US (not to say that they don't do it, but it's not usually so blatant).

Re:Google shows they're Republicans again... (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 4 months ago | (#47390067)

In the EU, which includes true socialist countries,

Which EU are you talking about? Can you name one and add the definition by which that country is socialist?

Re: Google shows they're Republicans again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47385489)

>lean to the left

Understatement of the year. Google regularly sets their homepage to anti-family 'doodles' in support of the aberrosexual agenda.

Re: Google shows they're Republicans again... (1)

blue trane (110704) | about 4 months ago | (#47385905)

And republicans turned the stars upside down on their logo to appeal to Satanists.

Isn't this a case of wanting to have it both ways? (4, Interesting)

brix (27642) | about 4 months ago | (#47385361)

Aren't many of the news organizations in the EU the same ones that wanted to charge Google a licensee to link to their articles in the first place?

They're upset when Google links to their articles; they're upset when they don't ...

Censorship through comment (3, Informative)

biodata (1981610) | about 4 months ago | (#47385377)

The Preston case was particularly pernicious - a whole article disappears from search results just because one person adds a comment to the article then decides to 'retract' their comment because 'it is not relevant any more'. It would have introduced a very easy attack route for anyone to take down any article they didn't like by posting a comment then asking Google to retract it thus hiding the whole article.

Re:Censorship through comment (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47385413)

Google did not hide the whole article. The article will no longer be returned when users search for the name of the *commenter*. Searches using Preston's name should still link to the full article unless Preston was the one that requested that it be removed from the index for queries on his name. Similarly, searches based on the content of the article that do not include any of the "forgotten" names will still link to the article.

Re:Censorship through comment (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 4 months ago | (#47385525)

a whole article disappears from search results just because one person adds a comment

No, it was NEVER removed from the search results for anything other than a search on the requester's name. Searching for the subject of the article or anything else related to it still brought it up.

In other words a person can only affect results for their own name, not anything else.

Censorship through comment (1)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 4 months ago | (#47385531)

This is why Slashdot is retractable by TeamTaco, but not by the submitter. When you post, it's on the record, but it can be pulled by somebody else if things are done right.

Re: Censorship through comment (2)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about 4 months ago | (#47385581)

"stan o'neil" site:bbc.co.uk returns the article. This is all hysterical bullshit.

Enviable, and pitiable (3, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about 4 months ago | (#47385381)

Google really does occupy both an enviable and a pitiable niche as regards the war on censorship / copyright / privacy.

On the one hand, they constantly get orders to remove search results that the likes of DuckDuckGo never need to deal with.

On the other, when they actually do remove links, they almost uniquely have the power to make the asker instantly regret the request... Whether through the "Streisand" effect, or in the present case, by "innocently" applying the demand in an overly-broad manner, Google comes out smelling like roses while those who would silence them become the next internet pariahs-of-the-week.

Truly beautiful! And for a change (though I in no way mean to claim Google as any sort of White Knight), this effect works largely in favor of the public.

Re:Enviable, and pitiable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47385889)

It would seem in this particular case they applied the policy correctly and it was the technically illiterate (ildigiterate?) journalist of the BBC who started the ruckus without researching facts. Then, there is the tendency of attributing malice where a fuck-up is a perfectly adequate explanation.

On top of all that... say Google gets 1000 requests a day (seems about right) and they process them at such pace. Furthermore, let's assume they started de-indexing things 5 days ago. That's (conveniently) 5 controversial cases out of 5000, 0.1% FPR. I would say it is an outstanding result for a brand new detection system.

Oh, yes. I work at Google but have no knowledge whatsoever of how this affair.

Google takedown policy.... (2)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 4 months ago | (#47385481)

Google's takedown request policy is...

1. Oops, we weren't expecting that... gotta unplug the service.
2. Okay, service is back but we're missing everything anybody asked be removed.
3. Oops, some of this stuff got removed right because there was something wrong in the request, we shouldn't have followed "all requests".
4. Now it works... and anybody who sues gets told "You should have gone to this URL to do that!"

Google caved... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47385739)

I don't know why Google caved in to this in the first place. If it's someone's "right to be forgotten," shouldn't it be the sites hosting the information being required to take it down? Removing links to information in one search engine isn't going to be effective unless you take down ALL the links to the information...which means simultaneously taking links down in Google, Bing, Yahoo!, DuckDuckGo, Wolfram Alpha, Excite, Alexa, Archive.org...you get the idea.
And not to mention links from other websites, and the website itself...if you have to take THOSE down, it makes more sense to require the website HOSTING the information to remove it, not Google or any other search engine...a 404 kills the information dead, and it will eventually expire from cached versions...

Google Public Relations Officers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47386025)

Still, Google's actions are being called "tactical" for how quickly they were able to stir public dissent over the EU ruling

This is no surprise, as this multinational conglomerate knows how to get the media on its side ... Google has an entire department dedicated to public relations and a virtually unlimited budget.

Which is precisely why the EU so frustrates Google. Google's mountains of cash are quite handy when it comes to lobbying politicians in the US. (cf the Mayday PAC ... an attempt to outright "buy" politicians) This doesn't work for Google in the EU.

I love how some people try to intimidate us by saying "perhaps Google should just pull-out of Europe". How I wish they would.

Has anyone made a rememberer website yet? (1)

penguinoid (724646) | about 4 months ago | (#47386105)

How long until someone makes a website specifically to track what stuff who wanted forgotten? I, for one, would be interested to know if my potential employee thinks he can call take-backs on the internet.

try Googling Yahoo Maps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47386503)

I hate the new slower loading version of Google Maps. (I hate almost all Maps on the internet, with the focus on giving driving directions--that are sometimes wrong, and seem to be made for the map reading impaired. And they are all too faint, but) Back to my original point. A few days ago I tried googling Yahoo maps. Trying to find a link or a listing for yahoo maps was so difficult, I just went to Yahoo!, clicked on Maps, and there was my still unsatisfying but not as bad as google map site.

Is Google making a simple search for a site difficult in trying to push their product up front?

Nah!

Dystopia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47386685)

Google is leveraging political power in Europe.

Such a shame (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 4 months ago | (#47386763)

that people find any kind of censorship acceptable. Savages, all of them.

So they admit.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47387419)

that they use their influence on the internet to steer people into action! So taking down things that should not have been taken down under the pretense that it had to be taken down will make sure they can get people against a ruling that in the end is not unfair besides to google share holders! How about that person dropping into a cliff with his family!

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