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Following EU Ruling, BBC Article Excluded From Google Searches 239

Posted by Soulskill
from the system-and-method-to-break-the-internet dept.
Albanach writes: In 2007, the BBC's economics editor, Robert Peston, penned an article on the massive losses at Merrill Lynch and the resulting resignation of their CEO Stan O'Neal. Today, the BBC has been notified that the 2007 article will no longer appear in some Google searches made within the European Union, apparently as a result of someone exercising their new-found "right to be forgotten." O'Neal was the only individual named in the 2007 article. While O'Neal has left Merrill Lynch, he has not left the world of business, and now holds a directorship at Alcoa, the world's third largest aluminum producer with $23 billion in revenues in 2013.
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Following EU Ruling, BBC Article Excluded From Google Searches

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  • by Stormy Dragon (800799) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @02:54PM (#47370945) Homepage

    I don't know why the journalist is blaming Google for this ("So why has Google killed this example of my journalism?") when it's obvious they're not doing this voluntarily.

    • Re:Blaming Google (Score:5, Insightful)

      by EasyTarget (43516) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @03:07PM (#47371085) Journal

      I don't know why the journalist is blaming Google for this ("So why has Google killed this example of my journalism?") when it's obvious they're not doing this voluntarily.

      Because the people in charge are terrified of Google, the Internet, and their citizens use of it. So the BBC, kowtowing as usual to power, but still with enough journalistic testicles to make some form of protest, blames Google.. in the hope they can get away with it. Rather than pinning the blame on the corrupt shitpile of lawyers and wonks who forced Google to do this in a desperate attempt to make money the deciding factor in information control and suppression.

      • Blame Google. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Half-pint HAL (718102) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @03:13PM (#47371139)
        I suspect Google's playing at what is called "malicious compliance". They don't like the law, because they don't like spending money, just making it. So what they really want is to wind up the news outlets to turn them against the law, because only the press has the power to form public opinion. So I'm very glad to see the BBC pushing back rather than swallowing the bait.
        • Re:Blame Google. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Ralph Wiggam (22354) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @03:23PM (#47371227) Homepage

          They don't like the law, because they don't like spending money, just making it.

          As opposed to all of those other companies that love spending money and hate making it?

        • by PopeRatzo (965947)

          because only the press has the power to form public opinion.

          Are you sure about that?

          I'm pretty sure we've seen lots of cases where public opinion was formed in spite of "the press".

          When you have a "press" that is either owned outright by corporations or heavily subsidized by corporations (like public media in the US), you're only going to see certain types of opinions. However, I know for a fact that there is a growing number of people with opinions that run counter to the corporatist/oligarch agenda. It'

        • by Trepidity (597)

          Yes, it's quite unlikely that this particular example falls within the scope of the EU ruling, which explicitly made exceptions for items of public interest, such as politicians, high-profile actors/businessmen/etc., and similar cases. A CEO of a gigantic company resigning over a public scandal is not the kind of news that is likely to be found outside the public interest, even years later.

          • Re:Blame Google. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Stormy Dragon (800799) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @03:47PM (#47371463) Homepage

            So how much money is Google expected to spend reviewing whether seven year old news stories are covered by the ruling? Particularly when they're liable for court costs and damages if the EU court later decides that it is covered by the ruling?

            • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

              As much as they have to, just like any other company handling personal data. If a credit reference agency argued that it cost too much to check the data it held and process requests to have to corrected I'm pretty sure it wouldn't fly.

              • by khallow (566160)
                So bottom line is that it's a lot cheaper to comply with the law even when an extensive, costly review (and possibly a subsequent costly lawsuit) would determine that you didn't have to.
          • Re:Blame Google. (Score:5, Interesting)

            by DutchUncle (826473) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @04:21PM (#47371727)
            "Public Interest" . . . I once sat on a jury on a libel case, in which a financier was suing the Wall Street Journal for having said defamatory things about him. The judge instructed us very clearly that truth is not an absolute defense; that is, even if every single thing in the article was provably true, it would still count as libel if it was (for example) just rehashing old information to defame the financier as he tried to start up a new operation.

            If you submit a resume, people check your references, but apparently keeping people from finding out an *executive's* history just requires bigger lawyers.
            • Re:Blame Google. (Score:5, Insightful)

              by ultranova (717540) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @04:38PM (#47371869)

              The judge instructed us very clearly that truth is not an absolute defense; that is, even if every single thing in the article was provably true, it would still count as libel if it was (for example) just rehashing old information to defame the financier as he tried to start up a new operation.

              Does this mean that credit rating agencies are libeling you if they give you anything but the highest rating? Because isn't "rehashing old information to defame the financier as he tried to start up a new operation" exactly what they're doing then?

              Or does these laws only protect the first-class citizens?

              • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

                Credit reference agencies are very strictly regulated and not allowed to keep information for more than a clearly defined length of time. Any argument that they were dragging up old information just to defame someone would be rejected on that basis, and instead a challenge to the regulations would have to be made.

            • by Rosyna (80334)

              "Public Interest" . . . I once sat on a jury on a libel case, in which a financier was suing the Wall Street Journal for having said defamatory things about him. The judge instructed us very clearly that truth is not an absolute defense; that is, even if every single thing in the article was provably true, it would still count as libel if it was (for example) just rehashing old information to defame the financier as he tried to start up a new operation.

              What country was this? In the US, truth is most absolutely an absolute defense in defamation cases.

              • What country was this? In the US, truth is most absolutely an absolute defense in defamation cases.

                No, that's not the standard, though it's often pretty hard to win a libel case against something true. The legal standard for "public figures" is actual malice [wikipedia.org], which does not require malicious intent -- instead, "actual malice" is just a legal term that means that someone published information with knowledge that the information was false or "with reckless disregard" to whether the information is true or false.

                That last thing means that if someone goes on a campaign to smear someone's name deliberately

              • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

                In the US, truth is most absolutely an absolute defense in defamation cases.

                What happens if someone decides to ruin your life by constantly publicizing mistakes you made decades ago, for no other reason than harming you? I suppose you would have to seek some other kind of legal remedy, some kind of C&D order. Well, under UK law we use libel for that.

                In either case truth is only a defence if the person publishing the material is not doing so maliciously.

          • > explicitly made exceptions

            And did the EU court also volunteer to review every case and cover the expenses for these reviews? Obviously not, which is the reason most observers predicted EXACTLY this outcome.

          • by rtb61 (674572)

            How about the other part of this story. Why did Alcoa hire this mega loser. What is the existing board of Alcoa's plan. Is there some sort of scam going on. Is the Alcoa board seeking to get all bendy with books, bloat up the bonuses while bankrupting the company and blaming all on this guy with the crappy track record. It's not like Alcoa didn't know, for a director they don't bother with a Google search, the get professionals to track down all the pertinent bits of information, they know exactly who this

        • Re:Blame Google. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by duranaki (776224) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @04:00PM (#47371561)
          I totally agree with the malicious compliance, only I'm glad to see Google doing it. This is a stupid law that seems vaguely like DMCA for removing true information that violates no one's copyright. The EU was nice enough to let Google (pay an army of paralegals to) make a first pass at figuring out which things violated their general terms, so I'm glad Google's using that freedom to point out ludicrous examples before people have forgotten all about this new censorship.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Of course they don't like the law, it's a horrible law. And why shouldn't they wind up the news outlets against this, it isn't as if this law doesn't affect the outlets as well. This is merely dragging them into the playing field, where they should have belonged in the first place.

        • by HiThere (15173)

          *I* suspect that they're testing some sort of automated filter that has quite conservative ratings of articles.

          You don't expect Google to rate all the articles by hand do you?

          OTOH, if the filter were intentionally designed to also be irritating to those who have the power to affect changes in that particular law, I wouldn't be at all surprised. I tend to expect that when people request to be forgotten they will, as far as Google is concerned, become non-persons. The problem will be those other people with

    • Re:Blaming Google (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Albanach (527650) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @03:14PM (#47371147) Homepage

      He doesn't really blame Google. From the article:

      To be fair to Google, it opposed the European court ruling.

      He does question why there's no apparent right to appeal. It would certainly seem reasonable to allow the person responsible for an article to highlight why it is still relevant or not outdated since often they will have better knowledge of the subject area than a paralegal.

      • by John Allsup (987)

        I can imagine Streisand effects coming into play. If google blacklists one article, in compliance, what is to stop other articles containing the information and possibly linking to the original appearing.

      • by mysidia (191772)

        He does question why there's no apparent right to appeal. It would certainly seem reasonable to allow the person responsible for an article to highlight why it is still relevant or not outdated since often they will have better knowledge of the subject area than a paralegal.

        This is for the courts to decide. And I suspect Google will take the position that it's suppressed by default, since that's the only safe action for their part (They were ordered by a judge to do so).

      • He doesn't really blame Google. From the article:

        To be fair to Google, it opposed the European court ruling.

        He does question why there's no apparent right to appeal. It would certainly seem reasonable to allow the person responsible for an article to highlight why it is still relevant or not outdated since often they will have better knowledge of the subject area than a paralegal.

        It appears the "right to be Forgotten" rules apparently have no provision for appeal or to give the supplier of the information the right to decide if it was a valid request. It appears the data holder could decide the request was not a valid one; however given the requester could litigate such a decision it seems many will simply take the expedient route of deleting links.

        Quite frankly, an appeals process would be an onerous burden on the data holder since they would then be placed in the position of decid

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          There definitely needs to be a legal mechanism in place to make appeals at no or very little cost. It's a shame Google didn't wait and work with the EU to get that in place, before processing all these requests.

          • There definitely needs to be a legal mechanism in place to make appeals at no or very little cost. It's a shame Google didn't wait and work with the EU to get that in place, before processing all these requests.

            My guess is they didn't want risk legal action once the court ruled. They can clarify later at while still complying even if their actions may be stricter than needed. Given the pace of getting a definitive answer and legal framework out if EU regulatory and legislative processes what Google did seems a reasonable approach.

    • Re: Not Voluntarily (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @03:28PM (#47371277) Journal

      In general I applaud the EU ruling *if* it really gets implemented fairly. But there's all sorts of wiggles to mess around with.

      We've been focusing on "that one guy" but look at this note way at the bottom of the article:

      "It is only a few days since the ruling has been implemented - and Google tells me that since then it has received a staggering 50,000 requests for articles to be removed from European searches."

      And that's 50K requests in a few days.

      Google can afford to hire "the army of paralegals", but does the ruling extend to smaller services? You can delist-bomb a small site out of existence when someone manages a "DDOS Distributed De-List of Service" attack on every article in their entire catalog. Then you get games where people try to de-list each other's materials.

      Not that I am a fan of Google, but I can bet a senior lawyer at Google is saying "well hell, besides the cost, if we have taken down seventeen million articles on all kinds of topics, there goes our ten year competitive advantage of useful searches."

    • The legal issues will take a while to iron out. Can one find the article using other search engines? Maybe it's time for a new Google? Maybe call it "Ranger?" Apologies to Tolkien.
  • by i kan reed (749298) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @02:55PM (#47370947) Homepage Journal

    No public figure exception? Our bad.

  • "Right to be forgotten" works great for some already-anonymous person... not so much for CEOs or other 1%ers.

    • It does now. Because it's rare and uncommon. And if it goes well for him and people like him, then you're going to see more and more people performing PR campaigns on their own histories, re-writing the past, and burying their past sins.

      The streisand effect only happens when someone steps out of line and deviates from the norm. It was an oddity that Streisand sued Kenneth Adelman and Pictopia.com for some aerial photography. Because it made waves, it attracted eyeballs.

      Stan O'Neal using this law is a oddity

      • They already do this, but before they couldn't request that Google remove the results directly. Instead they'd hire firms to make a bunch of empty-shell blogs with useless puff pieces related to the person in question as SEO spam to bury the undesirable link.

    • The "right to be forgotten" applies to an individual? What about the "right to be able to remember (or find out)", which applies to everyone else?
  • Before you laugh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @02:56PM (#47370965)

    Before you laugh about these high profile cases of people trying to be "forgotten," remember that after a while, these removals will become so commonplace that people will stop paying attention, and the system will work as intended.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @03:07PM (#47371089)

      Let's just get this out of the way now: If Hitler were alive today he'd be able to have Google remove all links to anything relating to himself as the Nazi leader.

      Another question to be asked: If a journalistic article can be taken down, could a page with commenters referencing Hitler (as in this /. article due to this very post) be removed from Google's search?

      • by Poeli (573204)

        Let's just get this out of the way now: If Hitler were alive today he'd be able to have Google remove all links to anything relating to himself as the Nazi leader.

        Hypothetically:
        He could ask that if you search for his name, you won't find any links about him being the Nazi leader. However, if you search for Nazi leader, all these links would show up again. Same for 'genocide jews', ... Google only has to remove the link between a search term and a search result. It doesn't delete the actual search result from it's index.

    • So the guy had an old article removed.
      The journalist then writes a *new* article, commenting on the removal of the old article
      The guy then requires the *new* article gets delisted, too. So the journalist ....

      And so it continues until one party or the other gets bored, dies, or realises that all these article, this MOUNTAIN of articles are all still available (and increasing in number) on other search engines and that since new articles can be submitted faster than old ones taken down (and presumably the

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @02:57PM (#47370981)

    ...controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.

  • Whoops (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @02:59PM (#47370999)

    Didn't take long to find the giant flaw in with the "right to be forgotten," did it? One percenters will now use it to selectively edit their Internet profile.

    • Re: Whoops (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @03:12PM (#47371127)

      Well, sort of. Google's search is for the masses. Financial sector companies subscribe to other, paywalled sources of information, like Lexis and Bloomberg. They'll still carry the uncensored truth, which is a great selling point.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      Except that this has had exactly the opposite effect. If you google the guy's name you get news stories about him trying to have the information removed. The top result is a Wikipedia page that I just edited to include a note about his request.

      • by Dare nMc (468959)

        Did you do this search from the EU? Appears only the EU google requests are being tampered with. I am really curious how far and fast google expands this blacklist to all references to the event in europe, or does the resident need to keep requesting... Because this was leaked as a bad. example, its doubtfull google can get away with many of these types of leaks going forward.
        I am guessing plenty of proxy plugins for google europe will become popular, rendering this law mute anyway.

  • Christ guys, do the editors actually get paid? And if so, what, exactly, is the job description?

    Because it clearly doesn't involve, you know, editing.

    • by markhb (11721)

      I think if they attach your name to a blockquote in a story, they apply the "you own your own words" policy and leave it as-is without so much as a smug (sic). For those portions of the story they actually write themselves, it is not required that they spell or use grammar more correctly than CmdrTaco did.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @03:04PM (#47371045)

    On one hand you have a guy who got in a bar fight when he was in college. Some drunk idiot spills beer on his girlfriend, so he confronts drunk idiot and beats him down, then gets charged with assault. On the other hand, you have this piece of shit (Stan O'Neil).

    Which is worse? The college kid having an assault charge hanging over his head the rest of his life, or guys like Stan O'Neil being given a free-pass when they rape millions of people for billions of their hard-earned dollars.

    Perhaps the answer is to have a 15-year (or 20-year) waiting period before you can exercise your right to be forgotten? Maybe the answer is just not to commit a crime in the first place.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This law is just a workaround for the fact that humans don't think critically about the possible inaccuracy of information found on the Internet. Censorship (which is exactly what this is) is a greater crime against society, and should not be used here.

      Instead, we should require that employers, load evaluators, etc., be limited to what sources of information they can use when making a life-impacting decision. Such a law is hard to enforce, of course, but is better than this misguided censorship.

    • by MobyDisk (75490)

      Would a 20-year old news article about getting into a bar fight really need removal? That isn't going to keep the person from getting a job or something. Someone who judges people from 20-year old charges isn't worth working for.

      The power to arbitrarily remove someone else's published works is horrible - it's like the 1st amendment in reverse. There's no legitimate reason for that, and this example of a wealthy person trying to hide their laundry is proof.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      How about changing our culture so that public crucifixion based on someone's past mistakes is not acceptable?

    • by Zordak (123132)

      On one hand you have a guy who got in a bar fight when he was in college. Some drunk idiot spills beer on his girlfriend, so he confronts drunk idiot and beats him down, then gets charged with assault. On the other hand, you have this piece of shit (Stan O'Neil).

      Perhaps the answer is to remember that "information wants to be free," and therefore it's a bad idea to beat up some random guy because he spilled beer on your girlfriend if that's not the kind of reputation you want to have. In the meantime, other people can consider whether this 20-year-old assault charge is or is not relevant to their particular circumstances. If I'm looking to hire somebody where overall emotional sobriety and self control are important, I'd at least want to find out if he'd cooled his

  • by sremick (91371) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @03:05PM (#47371049)

    Soon you won't be finding this Slashdot article in EU Google searches either.

    • by Albanach (527650)

      Unless O'Neal becomes famous and therefore relevant for exercising his right to be forgotten?

  • by pubwvj (1045960) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @03:07PM (#47371087)

    Crimmany. Before this demand to be forgotten I had never heard of Stan O'Neil. Now, knowing this I'll be sure not to hire him, etc, etc.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @03:08PM (#47371091)

    News outlet reports on business world goings on, a CEO leaving a company that is having financial woes.
    Google indexes article.
    Years later, person mentioned in article files request to delist new article.
    Google delists, advises news outlet of article delisting.
    News outlet writes new article about delisting of old article, links to old article.
    Google indexes new article.

    In the words of Robin Williams: "Mr. President. In the dictionary under Redundant, it says 'see: Redundant'."

  • Indirect References (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ZipK (1051658) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @03:10PM (#47371107)
    Is Google responsible for "forgetting" all possible path to this BBC article? E.g., will this Slashdot article turn up in a Google search in the EU? How about this comment, if I include a link to the original BBC article? [bbc.co.uk]
    • by rsborg (111459)

      Is Google responsible for "forgetting" all possible path to this BBC article? E.g., will this Slashdot article turn up in a Google search in the EU? How about this comment, if I include a link to the original BBC article? [bbc.co.uk]

      Aren't requests effective-dated? If Mr. O'Neal requested at date X to remove searches against his name, that can't be future-effective can it? That would truly be onerous if it was some "standing order" that no searches should result in his name.

      On the other hand, why delist an entire article? Can't they just remove that article from the keywords? I get a sense that Google is trying to obey the letter, but not the spirit of the law.

  • So dude doesn't want his name's first search result to be an over-hyped headline. Despite being a very decent publication, BBC is mass media, and as such it has to make news outrageously. Dude just made a pondered decision to save some company's face, or was forced to without having a second chance to fix it, and maybe I'm assuming here) is not even directly at fault for the company's losses. Maybe yes maybe not.

    I don't think he has to professionally and personally live under that shadow for the rest of his

  • by mi (197448) <slashdot-2012@virtual-estates.net> on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @03:13PM (#47371137) Homepage

    Supposedly, a way is discovered to make people forget certain things. Not far-fetched — we can already plant false memories [mit.edu]...

    I am asking the proponents of this wonderful "right to be forgotten" legislation, whether they would approve of a law, that would allow people to demand, their ex-partners be forced to undergo a procedure to make them forget of the good time the have once shared, for example.

  • by Halo1 (136547) <jonas.maebeNO@SPAMelis.ugent.be> on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @03:14PM (#47371143) Homepage

    What it means is that a blog I wrote in 2007 will no longer be findable when searching on Google in Europe.

    That is plain wrong. The judgement only requires that people can ask that searches for their name (and /only/ their name) no longer turn up results that are "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant".

    Searching for Merrill's mess, Merill Lynch subprime etc will all still include his article in the results and no one has any right under the ruling to object to that, even if it mentions Stan Oâ(TM)Neal's name in connection with shady business deals a thousand times (just like no one can object against this post turning up in response to such queries).

    Keeping that in mind, I do agree with the author that the article should not be excluded even when searching for Stan Oâ(TM)Neal's name, as the inadequacy/irrelevancy test does not fly here in my opinion either. He did say Google will get back to him on that point.

    • by rahvin112 (446269)

      Define "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant".

      Keep in mind your definition must apply to every single situation and under no circumstance a judge will disagree with your assessment and assign damages. Because that is what Google is facing, people can have any search result that lists their name removed if it meets whatever arbitrary definition of those three words a judge wishes to interpret.

      There is a very legitimate argument that those terms are so vague Google has no choice whatsoever but to simp

      • by Halo1 (136547)

        Define "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant".

        Keep in mind your definition must apply to every single situation and under no circumstance a judge will disagree with your assessment and assign damages.

        You can go first by defining such a rule about the first, second, fourth, ... amendment to the US Constitution. I'll even let you include all judgements by the Supreme Court on that particular amendment. Laws and judgements involving fundamental/inalienable (human) rights are never condensable into a simplistic rule.

        Because that is what Google is facing, people can have any search result that lists their name removed if it meets whatever arbitrary definition of those three words a judge wishes to interpret.

        The judge has to interpret the entire judgement by the ECHR, which is quite a bit more elaborate than that.

        There is a very legitimate argument that those terms are so vague Google has no choice whatsoever but to simply delist every single thing they are asked to delist.

        And there is a very legitimate argument that it does not have to do that. Such expressi

        • by rahvin112 (446269)

          You can go first by defining such a rule about the first, second, fourth, ... amendment to the US Constitution. I'll even let you include all judgements by the Supreme Court on that particular amendment. Laws and judgements involving fundamental/inalienable (human) rights are never condensable into a simplistic rule.

          Which is totally and completely irrelevant to this discussion and a rather poor attempt at a straw man.

          The judge has to interpret the entire judgement by the ECHR, which is quite a bit more elab

          • by Halo1 (136547)

            You can go first by defining such a rule about the first, second, fourth, ... amendment to the US Constitution. I'll even let you include all judgements by the Supreme Court on that particular amendment. Laws and judgements involving fundamental/inalienable (human) rights are never condensable into a simplistic rule.

            Which is totally and completely irrelevant to this discussion and a rather poor attempt at a straw man.

            How is asking you to do exactly the same as what you were asking of me a straw man? I was just trying to illustrate what I wrote above: "Laws and judgements involving fundamental/inalienable (human) rights are never condensable into a simplistic rule."

            Your argument of Google not being a civil rights NGO (even leaving aside the issue that, once again, this is about a clash between different civil rights rather than against the oppression of civil rights period), or me spending money on fighting the ruling, a

  • by Joe Gillian (3683399) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @03:14PM (#47371149)

    How long until a clone of Chilling Effects comes around and indexes all of the removals under the "right to be forgotten" law? Google could even link to them the same way they do Chilling Effects for sites that have been de-listed due to DMCA notices.

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @03:20PM (#47371201)

    Wait a second. We have to think on this critically.
    It was my understanding that the ruling meant that if someone searched for YOU they wouldn't find things about you anymore.
    If the BBC had an article about raising Goats, and that article mentioned John Sheldon the internets foremost Goat expert...
    If you searched for John Sheldon, you'd not find anything. But if you searched for "raising goats" you would.

    Is Google playing games here? Or is this really what is legally required? It seems rather strange that they'd remove an entire BBC article from ALL search results just because 1 guy was mentioned. What if they had a forum section like most news sites do and this guy was an avid poster. Could he then get the entire BBC removed from google? I pretty much comment on every Slashdot story (or damned near it) If I used my real name could I get Slashdot de-listed? If so, this is going to be hilarious.

    • Re:wait (Score:4, Interesting)

      by MobyDisk (75490) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @04:57PM (#47371981) Homepage

      They didn't remove the article entirely.

      we are no longer able to show the following pages from your website in response to certain searches on European versions of Google:

      They don't say which searches, but the wording implies that searches for Stan O'Neal [bbc.co.uk] will be affected. But searches for the former CEO of Merril Lynch [bbc.co.uk] should work just fine.

      • So... anybody in Europe want to try this out and let us know?

        The next few weeks will be super fun if this actually works.

    • From das wiki [wikipedia.org]:

      Malicious compliance is the behavior of a person who intentionally inflicts harm by strictly following the orders of management or following legal compulsions, knowing that compliance with the orders will cause a loss of some form resulting in damage to the manager's business or reputation, or a loss to an employee or subordinate. It has the effect of harming leadership, or the leadership harming a subordinate.[1] A specific form of industrial action that utilizes this is work-to-rule.

      Also see Lawful Evil [tvtropes.org].

  • "right to be forgotten"
    Sounds like a con-artists wet-dream.

    I understand the whole forgiveness thing. Some people deserve a second chance. Some people can change.
    But what about my right to tell my friends that that asshole just screwed me out of a ton of money and that he can't be trusted?

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Well, the EU has gone to far in the direction of personal rights, and the obligations that imposes on companies.

      While the US has gone too far in the direction of corporate rights, and how they can screw us over at will. Because, you know, corporations now have religious freedom to be assholes.

      But what about my right to tell my friends that that asshole just screwed me out of a ton of money and that he can't be trusted?

      Oddly enough, as long as you can do it without actually committing libel or slander, you

  • A family is reporting that a stranger named "Stan O'Neil" has invaded their home, apparently using a key to the premises, and is claiming to be their husband and father. The woman who heads the family says she does not remember ever seeing the man before, but could not name the father of her children or the person who gave her what appeared to be wedding and engagement rings.

  • by guises (2423402) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @03:21PM (#47371207)
    Had to read that three times before it stopped saying dictatorship and started saying directorship.
  • Well, you got what you wanted - a right to be forgotten.

    So while John the unfairly-maligned ex-husband can have all the nasty stuff his ex-wife said about him deleted from searches, so can Jim the pedophile, Jeff the corrupt politicians, and Jerry the worthless CEO.

    In fact, this ruling has in a sense undermined the entire value of the internet where it comes to the power of journalism and public voice.

    I guess it's worth it?

  • I have to wonder (Score:5, Informative)

    by aitikin (909209) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @03:35PM (#47371341)
    If Google is really just trying to show how flawed this is. After all, if you search him (I popped over to google.co.uk as I'm in the US) that blog certainly does not come up, but about the entire first page of hits (especially if you throw bbc in as well) is about how that page will not come up because of this ruling...
    • by MobyDisk (75490)

      It would be awesome if browsers provide add-ins that search using the US Google, then highlight the differences.

  • by Mister Liberty (769145) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @04:37PM (#47371863)

    Stan O'Neal, you will not be forgotten.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/leg... [bbc.co.uk]
    Stan O'Neal, you will not be forgotten.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/leg... [bbc.co.uk]
    Stan O'Neal, you will not be forgotten.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/leg... [bbc.co.uk]
    Stan O'Neal, you will not be forgotten.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/leg... [bbc.co.uk]
    Stan O'Neal, you will not be forgotten.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/leg... [bbc.co.uk]
    Stan O'Neal, you will not be forgotten.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/leg... [bbc.co.uk]
    Stan O'Neal, you will not be forgotten.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/leg... [bbc.co.uk]
    etc.

    Pass the word.

  • Perhaps some fine-tuning is in order. If you continue to be a public person, and being a director of a major corporation does qualify yopu as 'public', then perhaps the laws should be more strict. Challenging results for accuracy of the underlying information would be a hugely entertaining process.

  • If Google must remove some information about a public person that obviously shouldn't be removed then they should purge all remnants of him from their pages.
    Yes that includes this one.
    According to Google he doesn't exist. hehe

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990

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