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Censorship EU Government The Internet The Media United Kingdom

BBC Takes a Stand For the Public's Right To Remember Redacted Links 113

Martin Spamer writes with word that the BBC is to publish a continually updated list of its articles removed from Google under the controversial 'right to be forgotten' notices." The BBC will begin - in the "next few weeks" - publishing the list of removed URLs it has been notified about by Google. [Editorial policy head David] Jordan said the BBC had so far been notified of 46 links to articles that had been removed. They included a link to a blog post by Economics Editor Robert Peston. The request was believed to have been made by a person who had left a comment underneath the article. An EU spokesman later said the removal was "not a good judgement" by Google.
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BBC Takes a Stand For the Public's Right To Remember Redacted Links

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    immediately because I said so.

  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @05:30AM (#48179509)

    Court's judgement, not Google's.

    Quit offloading the responsibility for your censorship onto a third party. KTHXBAI.

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @08:06AM (#48179795) Homepage Journal

      court? what fucking court? it doesn't work that way... unfortunately.

      so kthxbai go here https://support.google.com/leg... [google.com]

      the law as it is is stupid.

      also it's about 50% that google removes, it's ENTIRELY up to google to decide... so it's googles judgement. it would be better imho if they just offloaded it all to /dev/null . like, you can make the request but they could just default everything to denied.. good for bbc to provide the list.

      and if you were wondering, yeah, you can request sites from bbc or whatever fucking site to be removed from search results. don't like something? post some info about you in the comments or make a stupid comment and then ask for the result to be removed! brilliant, eh?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The court is specified in the first sentence in the link you pointed to. Apparently you didn't read it. It does work that way. A court's judgement said that Google had to remove links when requested if they met some nebulous definition of out of date, inaccurate, etc. The court also made it the search engine (not just Google's) call because they didn't want to deal with it. So yes, the court told the search engines to be the ones to decide. Google told them that that would be stupid and that it would cause
        • Doesn't that validate their point? The court ordered Google to be the one making the judgment call on every individual case of censorship. Stupid.

          • It validates their sub-point that Google makes the call, but it contradicts the main point which is that a court decided it should be this way, and therefore should get the blame.
      • They'd be held in contempt of court if they rejected all the requests.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No, it was Google's judgement because the articles Google opted to censor here clearly fell into the public interest category. I agree there are fringe cases where it's going to be hard for Google to judge, but these examples were not them.

      Google is really pissed at the fact that a court has ruled, that like every other company in the world, it has to adhere to the EU member state's data protection acts.

      It's spending a lot of capital spreading FUD against it as a result. This example being the censoring of

  • " "not a good judgement" by Google. "

    I expect nothing else from google, the notification to publication, the semi random removal and lack of judgement is exactly what I would do if I was google and wanted to protest against the law without showing my middle finger to the authority : simply do a very poor job out of it. In a way In understand it, I support the right to be forgotten out of many reason (before search engine we all enjoyed that right, and it is stupid that a small error without much consequenc
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Yes to the right to be forgotten. But do it right.

      Currently the search engines must remove the link to the article, but the article stays. This is bullshit. If the article contains something to be forgotten it should be removed or redacted. This is the only correct way to do it. Also, there should be an open procedure, with appeals, to decide if the article must be redacted / deleted.

      Markus

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 19, 2014 @06:32AM (#48179629)

        But Markus the point is that Google doesn't own the article. They were simply providing an index link to it. That's why the whole EU Court ruling was so stupid. Google can't remove "the article", that's somebody else's writing on some other server. The only thing Google can remove is what's on their server, which is simply a pointer. Apparently the EU Court didn't understand this when they ordered Google to remove links to content. Fine. Link gone. Of course I can still find it with Bing, or any other search engine for that matter. If BBC puts search engine up on it's site to search BBC content internally, it will all be there, just a little harder to find.
        As for it being a "not good judgement" implementation, well the court didn't exactly give them much choice did they, and now everybody and their brother wants anything ever written about them that's in anyway negative to be hidden so it can't be found. And they threaten to sue Google if the link isn't gone by like yesterday. So Google is simply burning through the requests as fast as they can. They'll worry about the appeals when they can, but they have an order they must comply with first. Look they warned the courts this was a bad idea, they tried to explain what they do, and how the web works, but nobody listened because they were all just in it to punish the big bad American company, how dare they flout our European rules. and nobody cared what the reality is. From the article"The European Court of Justice (ECJ) said links that were "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant" should not appear when a specific search - usually a person's name - was made." Do you really think that Google actually KNOWS the content of all the sites it's indexed? Of course not. They don't know what the content is, they simply download a page, search for additional links on the page and put them into a list then they index the page they're on by all keywords (anything that isn't or, an, the, a, and, etc.) then index the link under those keys. They have no idea what the actual page is about. No human is reading these things, its just words and links in a computer database. Once the page is indexed they follow all the hyperlinks they found and index those pages as well. Repeat ad infinitum.
        So when someone says "Hey there's irrelevant information about me that comes up on this link when you search my name. I want it pulled! The court told you to so you have to!" Google pulls the link. At least there nice enough to tell the link publisher about it so the publisher can appeal, but Google doesn't have time, or the relevant knowledge to decide what should or shouldn't be pulled. So they let the publishers appeal it if they want to. And by the way the court gave them bugger all guidance on how to interpret what is "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant" just stern warnings about what would happen if they didn't comply. So they pull link first and argue later, Got it yet? This isn't Google's fault.

        • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

          Didn't give them much choice?

          dude, that's not how the right to forgotten works.

          GOOGLE HAS THE CHOICE. they reject about 50% of requests. it's not a court that makes the request, it's the who fuckingever individual that wants his stupid comment not to show up on google searches who makes the request.

          indeed, you can send a request, provided that you live in the affected countries, to google to remove your previous comment from showing up on google search.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          The only thing Google can remove is what's on their server, which is simply a pointer. Apparently the EU Court didn't understand this when they ordered Google to remove links to content.

          No, you've misunderstood the goal. It isn't about deleting the information, it is about increasing the barrier to finding the information. The goal of the court is to turn the clock back, just a little tiny bit back, towards pre-internet status. It used to be that various records of our activities were spread around different "data silos" - newspaper articles were at the library, property records were at the tax assessor's office, arrest records at the court house, etc. You could still find the informat

        • That is what I'm saying. Google can not remove the article, but is forced to remove a link (among many). For a useful right to be forgotten the concerned party should request for the article to be taken down or redacted.

          The judgement show the foolish stupidness and incompetence of the judges.

      • > If the article contains something to be forgotten it should be removed or redacted. This is the only correct way to do it.

        I disagree. A search engine creating links is new creation. New publishing. Banning the creation of news links is WAY different from altering a historic record. Where does it stop? Do you delete history books? You have read 1984, right? Deleting historic records is pretty damned close to changing it in the style of 1984's dystopian future.

        • by C0R1D4N ( 970153 )
          Well, now Google can just point a link at the BBC's index of articles of with their links removed.
      • Better, the article should only be hidden for certain search terms, like someones name, when that person is not otherwise remarkable.
      • Yes to the right to be forgotten. But do it right.

        Currently the search engines must remove the link to the article, but the article stays. This is bullshit. If the article contains something to be forgotten it should be removed or redacted. This is the only correct way to do it. Also, there should be an open procedure, with appeals, to decide if the article must be redacted / deleted.

        Markus

        and who the hell is going to pay for all that?

        The entire premise of this idea is ludicrous. You cannot erase the past. All that dumb shit you did when you were 22 was done and you have to live with it.

      • While I agree that this would be the best way to deal with it, you seem to forget what most politicians also conveniently ignore: Their laws don't mean jack in Generistan. Slander isn't really a crime in some countries. At least countries that have real problems instead of first world problems are usually a wee bit, let's say, sluggish when it comes to your request to take down some article you don't like.

        For a time I was busy trying to fight malware. Part of that fight included trying to take down command

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by IIH ( 33751 )

        Currently the search engines must remove the link to the article, but the article stays. This is bullshit. If the article contains something to be forgotten it should be removed or redacted. This is the only correct way to do it. Also, there should be an open procedure, with appeals, to decide if the article must be redacted / deleted.

        One of the problems with this law is that it's badly named, which creates a lot of misunderstanding. For example, I do not believe search engines must remove the link to the a

      • I wonder if the recording industry rights holders in Europe can or have already used this to have links to pirated material removed from Google.

      • Yes to the right to be forgotten.

        I wish memories had a right to be forgotten. Think of all the livers that would be saved.

    • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday October 19, 2014 @06:17AM (#48179589) Homepage Journal

      it is stupid that a small error without much consequence ruin your life

      That's not google's fault. It's not the fault of anyone publishing the information. And society won't unfuck itself in this regard while some people can hide their deeds, and some cannot, because they do not understand how the system works. All this will do is create further inequities in society.

      • ALl of us born ebfore google remember it. Just because google come and suddenly nothing is forgotten, does not mean it is a good thing.
        • Please, please, please, don't start your comment in the subject. That's not what it's for. It's seriously fucking annoying. Netiquette, it's not just for USENET anymore. And it never was.

          The system did not work like that ALl of us born ebfore google remember it. Just because google come and suddenly nothing is forgotten, does not mean it is a good thing.

          The system does work like that. When an action becomes acknowledged as commonplace in society, the next generation discriminates against it less. Alternately, a problem which is hidden rather than being pointed out is never fixed. Example, selective enforcement, which shields the wealthy (who buy laws) from the results of b

          • I know I'm cutting too close to the bone when someone becomes so incensed by what I am saying that they must mod me down for it. I believe both parts of my comment. If you want to claim I went offtopic, so be it, but I was also clearly on topic.

            Or in summary: To the moderator: waaaaaaaah

      • All this will do is create further inequities in society.

        Well, that is the idea, so it's only natural for laws like this to get passed. They are written by the people who need them most.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, maybe the court should have been, but they didn't want the job. Look the stupid part about this is that the article or web site or whatever, that contains the information is still there. The info still exists. All that happened is you can't find it USING GOOGLE. Get the point. So use Bing, or some other search engine and... well look at that, there it is again. The EU Court ruling simply shot the messenger rather than blamed the message sender. AS for doing a poor job, well what did you expect. Look G

    • by AqD ( 1885732 )

      and it is stupid that a small error without much consequence ruin your life.

      If it's indeed a small error, surely you'd still find acceptance from some people, if not forgiven by all. It's for others to decide, not you.

      What will EU do next? Wipe out memory of criminals from their victims?

      • "if it's indeed a small error, surely you'd still find acceptance from some people, if not forgiven by all. It's for others to decide, not you."

        Look, until google came in, it worked that way : if you had a small problem , then it was forgotten after a while because nobody except the locals knew about it. Let me tgive you an example : you are flagged as person of interrest by the police, they itnerrogate you, keep you in goal for 48h , it is reported by the journals. It turns out you had NOTHIGN to do with
        • by AqD ( 1885732 )

          And since when society has been known to be forgiving ? On the contrary society is quite harsh and unforgiving. Combine that with a memory which goes forvever and you got a NASTY piece of disaster, transforming a youth of generations which is a tiome of discovery and pushing the limit, in a trap which cost you a lot because of that google memory never stops.

          A society which does not forget would be a harsh society.

          All the more reasons the governments should try to fix everyone's stupid attitude, starting from themselves. Blinding people and hiding facts do not solve the root of problem - they only suppress it.

          I do not want that for my children or grand children. Do you ?

          I don't think we will have any future.

        • > and then the classic : you get drunk and do something stupid somebody get a photo. Pre-2000 a good memory to share between friend. Past 2000 google+facebook : a friend which unwittingly may cost you a good job.

          Photos of a person getting drunk and acting stupid would be completely irrelevant for some things, very relevant for others. If I'mhiring someone yo replace my roof, I don't care what you do on the weekend. I can decide that's not relevant to my decision. If you're applying for a job on the ne

          • The reader of the information is in a position to consider the totality of the circumstances and decide what's relevant and not.

            What a load of cock you're writing here. Google doesn't discriminate between what is relevant and what isn't. When someone googles you, they only get notable facts not relevant or irrelevant ones. The irrelevant ones ("loves his mum, is good with children and animals, reads widely") isn't there. "used to binge drink in his 20's at the weekend" can be discovered, but "now in h

            • > What a load of cock you're writing here. Google doesn't discriminate between what is relevant and what isn't.

              The topic we're discussing is that a European court ordered Google to hide information which is "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant". Note two of the three things Google is ordered to decide are relevance - Google must decide if the information is irrelevant or no longer relevant, the court ordered.

              The case was a guy who didn't pay his bills and eventually his property was auctioned

            • redactions happen on page 12 in small print, and no one ever reads them. They correct bad information all the time, but in a format that most people miss, because its so obscure. Your not alone in missing it, but your somewhat correct that it almost might as well not exist, because its published in a way no one notices.
        • this is absolutely correct. However, Americans love a good lynch mob, and American Media likes to blow things out of proportion, especially non-existant threats posed by people who are outsiders to society, government, and the econony. In fact its essential to People feeling fearful and needing a large government to protect them.

          There is no "free speech" either, as the government censors, and the press covers up, or simply hushes up the worst done by people in power. There is a "privledge of being forgotten
    • But small fish ? Remove it don't be evil don't ruibn the life of people with small stuff which would have been forgotten if only a search engine did not exists).

      No, you should condemn the people who make judgements based on stupid pictures and statements. They are the ones who act in bad faith and should be sanctioned. Google is a search engine. Let them search, and let the user filter the results, not the state, or even Google itself. I can only wish that Google holds fast (though I know they don't), and t

      • google does not hold fast when presented by National Security Letters, and other bits of government and media company ordered censorship, you know, when it matters most, such as actual policy discussions on the line, not covering up personal dirty laundry so someone can go on living their life.

        Google is flying a huge double standard cooperating with the US authorities censorship of information for state and corporate, while snubbing european rules that protect common citizens.
    • it is stupid that a small error without much consequence ruin your life.

      Come on. Tell us. What did you do?

      Seriously though. I'm not sure how you think life works, but small errors without consequence ruin lives all the time. "I only had three beers" or "I forgot to wear a rubber" are small errors.

      The only question I have about this law is how in the world could it NOT end up being abused? This law is designed to be abused.

  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Sunday October 19, 2014 @05:47AM (#48179539) Homepage

    The problem is they only know the URLs being removed, not the search terms associated with the removal. The removal only affects results for a search of the individual's name, and other searches will still show those articles. Without knowing who requested the removal (in the first case they were notified of it was someone who wrote a comment, not the subject of the article) the list isn't that helpful.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      While there'll always be exceptions I imagine it's usually a very short list of persons who want any one article removed, blowing the whistle saying "someone is trying to bury this article" should have the intended effect anyway.

      • Wrong. Already there have been cases where the main subject of a removed article was publicly accused of having it removed, only for it to turn out to be a commenter on the article that wanted their comment forgotten. Since the ruling only affects the search index and not the actual page, the whole article will have to be de-indexed just to forget one comment. There could be a lot of different commenters on one page.

        • by Teun ( 17872 )
          You got it!

          As many others I understand the willingness of the EU court to enable people a shot at loosing a certified stupid remark that's lingering on the net.
          On the other hand we understand this is neigh impossible by 'just' editing the search results.
          I think the comments in the EU ruling give enough leeway to the search engines to not delete (the link to) a whole article just because there's one commenter with regrets.
        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

          the whole article will have to be de-indexed just to forget one comment.

          No, Google have stated and you can check for yourself that the removal only applies to the specific search term of the requesting party's name. In the case of the first article removed, which was about a banker, searched for his name still show the article in the results.

    • The removal only affects results for a search of the individual's name, and other searches will still show those articles.

      Uh, wasn't this the whole point of it? I thought that this is exactly how it was supposed to work.

  • Article or link (Score:2, Informative)

    by benjymouse ( 756774 )

    Was the article removed in its entirety, or was the *association* between the name and the article removed.

    Of course Google should not remove the entire article. That was never what the law said. If they did so, it was just another blatant attempt at manipulating opinions of journalists in the hope that journalists reporting will start sway public opinion.

    If it was just the *link* between a commentator name and the article that was removed, i.e. you would still find the article through googling words from t

    • Re:Article or link (Score:4, Insightful)

      by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @06:09AM (#48179579)

      Google is blatantly trying to manipulate public opinion through journalists. They are deliberately misinterpreting the law to create an impression of draconian consequences.

      Could be, I suppose.

      Or this could just be a result of the massive number of requests they are dealing with. Earlier this month, they mentioned they had received about 150,000 requests in the past 5 months, dealing with roughly 500,000 links. That's roughly 1000 requests and 3500 links to evaluate PER DAY.

      Even if they have legal experts reviewing every case, there are bound to be a few questionable calls with such volume.

    • The whole article is de-indexed. That is the only way it can work - the required form of complaint is that the information is inaccurate / irrelevant / etc., i.e. the complaint is that the information should be "forgotten", not that any particular search term should not lead to it.

      • The whole article is de-indexed. That is the only way it can work

        What? Google already uses a huge directory of "stop words" - words or phrases that should not be indexed. What is required is that they can create such stop words per link (article). Maybe they are not done with that yet, but it could certainly work that way.

        The goal is not to suppress articles, the goal is to protect individuals right to privacy. Google does not control the article, and they should not remove all links (associations) to articles. But they can and should respect individuals right to privacy

        • Most modern judicial systems (US the notable exception) recognize that when you've done your time you have "paid" your debt to society - and should have a chance to start over.

          Yeah, just because you did time for embezzling doesn't mean you should be denied a job as a CFO or Banker....

        • Please describe how "stop words" would do this.

          Google would have to detect queries with certain specified characteristics and NOT display certain relevant results

          So, the comlaint would have to specify WHAT (the page), and WHY (the search criteria). Of course, that is in context of the search criteria of today.

          This would have to work for FUTURE queries as well. And, future query mechanisms. To stay within the spirit of this law, the only reliable solution is to remove the page from the index. After all, this

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

        No, the request applies to searches for the individual's name, not the article. The page will remain in the index, it just won't appear when searching for the person's name. Any other names or search terms that would normally lead to it will continue to work as normal.

        The ruling is quite specific in this regard. The only intent is to prevent that information appearing when someone researches that individual by name.

      • The whole article is de-indexed. That is the only way it can work - the required form of complaint is that the information is inaccurate / irrelevant / etc., i.e. the complaint is that the information should be "forgotten", not that any particular search term should not lead to it.

        WRONG! The ruling is that such articles should not be returned as results when specified search terms are entered. This allows for the article to be returned in response to other search terms. Such an approach is largely in the public interest, as it means that should an article no longer be a relevant result for one person, but is still relevant for others, you can still find the article by searching for the any of the others. Take for example the following:

        An article is published stating that Mr A, Mrs A

    • Google is blatantly trying to manipulate public opinion through journalists. They are deliberately misinterpreting the law to create an impression of draconian consequences.

      Who cares? It's a corrupt law. Public opinion was manipulated to get it passed. If they can lie, and it works, then so can we. So fuck the censors and all other authoritarians. Let's fight fire with fire, and do what we can to end this, whatever it takes. Google is doing right. If they have some kind of "nuclear weapon" to wipe out censo

  • We have two options. One is to censor and hide information. The second is to learn to be more tolerant and just accept everybody makes mistakes and says stupid things at times. If you're religious, you can't hide stuff from your god. If you're not religious your only judgement is by others and perhaps you deserve it.

    With the internet what is unfair is how by and large people were fooled into thinking they were anonymous, I think allowing that belief and taking it away without peoples knowledge is a form of

    • The problem is less that people think they're anonymous. The problem is more that it's usually not they themselves that post "incriminating" content but their peers, and with the internet this means it's here to stay.

      For reference, take Star Wars Kid and all the other involuntary internet celebrities.

  • by physicsphairy ( 720718 ) on Sunday October 19, 2014 @06:34AM (#48179641) Homepage

    An EU spokesman later said the removal was "not a good judgement" by Google.

    Clearly google should have a team of philosophers, ethicists, social activists, and legal theorists evaluate each of the 1000 requests per day [theguardian.com] to ensure that each link removed is a "good judgment."

    • They're already doing something like this with YouTube videos, aren't they? (I.e., have an army of people adding human judgement to the workflow of processing various requests.) I guess that's just a cost of doing business, like having an accountant.
    • The people who made this law should not be lecturing anybody about "good judgement", except maybe the voters who put them into office. Their judgement is indeed questionable.

      • If only the voters could choose who gets into office.
        Sure we get to elect a European parliament, but the European Commission is the body who issues the directives.
        And they are appointed by the European Council.
        And they are appointed by National governments.
        And the only power the parliament has in all that is to veto the president of the Commisssion.
        So what are the chances of my vote having enough clout to filter through to the Commission? Hell, if every country voted its government in unanimously, their imp

  • Google did not decide to remove anything.

    It was ordered by a court, a weary giant of flesh and steel, to remove from its index all articles that anyone wants removed.

    The articles themselves are not removed. That would be impossible. This is the internet.

    The articles in question can no longer be found with Google. They can still be found with Bing, Duck Duck Go, Baidu, or your own toy web-crawler. This is the internet.

    Is it poor judgement by Google to obey the law?

    Or is it poor judgement by the people to pub

  • No, the law is not a good judgement by the EU. It is censorship, and fuck that.

  • Deleting the Google links is a quite serious hindrance to scholarship and informed research today. One may as well put it here (with due credit to Douglas Adams for writing this.

            "But look, you found the notice didn't you?"

            "Yes," said Arthur, "yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'."

  • Google should just flip the EU their middle finger and close all operations there. No personnel whatsoever in the EU, and all advertising business through US brokers.

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