Sunday

17th Feb 2019

Google removes press links after EU ruling

  • Google has removed over 70,000 "right to be forgotten" links (Photo: Carlos Luna)

Google has removed over 70,000 Internet links, amid accusations it is trying to promote critical reactions to a EU court ruling by targeting major media outlets.

The US firm on Thursday (3 July) said it was getting around 1,000 "right to be forgotten" requests a day.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The EU court in Luxembourg in May ruled the search giant should delete links on searches done on the basis of a person’s name if found “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant.”

The content itself is not removed or deleted.

Earlier this week British media outlets the Guardian, The Daily Mail, the BBC and others received notices links that some of their articles would be swiped off.

The Guardian said it received notices Google pulled six of its articles. Three of the articles are about a now-retired Scottish Premier League referee who had lied about the reasons for granting a team a penalty.

The Mail Online has similar stories on the same Scottish Premier League referee yanked.

The BBC’s economics editor Robert Peston, for his part, was informed by the company it would remove a link on its European search results to a blog he wrote in 2007.

“Notice of removal from Google Search: we regret to inform you that we are no longer able to show the following pages from your website in response to certain searches on European versions of Google,” wrote Google.

Peston’s blog had mentioned the name of the former boss of the investment bank Merrill Lynch, Stan O'Neal.

The request sparked accusations the investment banker had asked Google to remove his name. O'Neal is the only name mentioned in the blog entry.

Peston inquired on the “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant” basis of the decision.

But links to the blog mentioning Stan O’Neal remained online.

Peston says O’Neal had not made the request after all. Instead, the request mostly likely came from someone who left a public comment on his blog.

Peston says Google “has gone a bit over the top in restricting searches” to his blog.

The BBC Google dispute has garnered the attention of the European Commission.

EU digital spokesperson Ryan Heath said Google appears to be accepting all the requests “on the cheap.”

“It may be that they’ve decided that it’s simply cheaper to just say yes to all of these requests. That’s going to spark its own debate, and rightly so,” he told the BBC.

Robert Shrimsley, a Financial Times’s columnist and the editor of the FT’s website, in a tweet wrote:

“Notable that Google is interpreting the right to be forgotten rules in the way most likely to upset journalists.”

Google, for its part, defended its actions.

“This is a new and evolving process for us. We'll continue to listen to feedback and will also work with data protection authorities and others as we comply with the ruling,” noted a Google spokesperson.

EU data verdict imminent on Romania's €20m reporters' fine

National data protection authorities from around the EU are about to make public their decision on a threat by Romania's data chief to force journalists to reveal their sources, in a case involving high-level political corruption.

News in Brief

  1. Spain's Sanchez calls snap election on 28 April
  2. 15,000 Belgian school kids march against climate change
  3. May suffers fresh Brexit defeat in parliament
  4. Warning for British banks over Brexit staff relocation
  5. Former Italian PM wants Merkel for top EU post
  6. Antisemitic incidents up 10% in Germany
  7. Italy's asylum rejection rate at record high
  8. Hungary will not claim EU funds for fraudulent project

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  2. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  3. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law
  4. UNESDASoft Drinks Europe welcomes Tim Brett as its new president
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers take the lead in combatting climate change
  6. Counter BalanceEuropean Parliament takes incoherent steps on climate in future EU investments
  7. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”

Latest News

  1. Sluggish procedure against Hungary back on table
  2. Could Finnish presidency fix labour-chain abuse?
  3. Brexit and trip to Egypt for Arab League This WEEK
  4. Belgian spy scandal puts EU and Nato at risk
  5. EU Parliament demands Saudi lobby transparency
  6. Saudi Arabia, but not Russia, on EU 'dirty money' list
  7. EU agrees draft copyright reform, riling tech giants
  8. Rutte warns EU to embrace 'Realpolitik' foreign policy

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us