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Google 'Forgets' Publisher Articles as EU Takedowns Begin

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Google has started taking down search results following Europe's 'right to be forgotten' ruling in May, with both the BBC and The Guardian seeing articles being removed from the search engine.

The BBC and the Guardian reported that pieces have been removed from Google, such as a column by Robert Peston commenting on bankers' woes during the 2007 financial crisis. The Guardian's James Ball said that six of the paper's articles have been removed from Google search.

Ball is calling for publishers to revolt against this, and has asked that media outlets set up Twitter accounts that tweet the links of articles that have been pulled from Google.

Google started removing search results last week, following the European Court of Justice landmark "right to be forgotten" ruling in May.

A Google spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal at the time, "This week we're starting to take action on the removals requests that we've received.

"This is a new process for us. Each request has to be assessed individually, and we're working as quickly as possible to get through the queue."

Google didn't sound too pleased about the whole thing, and didn't reveal any further details about the process, which means it's not clear how many requests the firm has received, nor how many it has removed so far. If recent reports are to be believed, takedown requests have topped the 50,000 level.

Bloomberg noted that, as well as articles from the BBC and Guardian, the interrnet search engine has removed a link to a Spanish newspaper that was the target of a court case by Mario Costeja Gonzalez. A Search of Gonzalez's name now shows text at the bottom of the page, which reads, "Some results may have been removed under data-protection law in Europe."

"We're showing this notice in Europe when a user searches for most names, not just pages that have been affected by a removal," Google clarified on its website.

Towards the end of May, Google started offering EU citizens an online tool to fill out if they want a link removed from its search results.

When submitting a request, Google said that users will have to provide at least one kind of photo ID, and stated that links will only be removed if the information is erroneous, misleading or no longer relevant.

This article was originally published on the Inquirer.


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