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Google restores 'forgotten' Guardian links following publisher revolt

Confusion ensues
Fri Jul 04 2014, 09:31
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GOOGLE has changed its mind and restored links to stories on The Guardian after it removed them on Thursday.

Google, under the EU's 'right to be forgotten' ruling, yanked multiple links to stories on The Guardian website, news which didn't go down well with the newspaper, which protested the removal. 

The Guardian's James Ball, who revealed that six links to the website had been pulled from Google, called publishers to revolt, and has asked that media outlets set up Twitter accounts that tweet the links of articles that have been pulled from Google.

Seemingly influenced by the backlash, Google on Friday changed its mind and restored links to the website, which while good news for The Guardian, highlights the difficulty the search engine is having implementing Europe's "right to be forgotten" ruling.

However, despite also removing links from the BBC website on Thursday, these have not been put back by the internet search firm.

Google started removing internet 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. µ


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