Google has begun removing links to websites in Europe, complying with a May European Court of Justice ruling that individuals have the “right to be forgotten” and may request the removal of embarrassing, irrelvant or outdated search results they don’t like. According to the company, it has gotten 70,000 such requests since it put a form online May 30, among them a link to a Guardian (UK) story about battling Post-it art by French office workers. The links remain visible on Google’s US website.
Pushback from the British press has been fierce and immediate. British MailOnline publisher Martin Clarke said, “These examples show what a nonsense the right to be forgotten is. It is the equivalent of going into libraries and burning books you don’t like. MailOnline intends to regularly publish lists of articles deleted from Google’s European search results so people can keep track of what has been deleted.”