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Google has 'forgotten' more than 50 links to Wikipedia

Encyclopedia launches a web page to keep track of removals
Wed Aug 06 2014, 11:22
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales courtesy of Joi Ito

ONLINE ENCYCLOPEDIA Wikipedia revealed on Wednesday that Google has 'forgotten' more than 50 links to its website, more than the "one" that was reported earlier this week.

As well as revealing that 50 links to its website have been removed under the ECJ's controversial 'right to be forgotten' ruling, Wikipedia launched a webpage dedicated to posting notices about links that have been removed from search engines, the Ibtimes reported.

The webpage, titled "notices received from search engines" states, "Posted below are notices received by the Wikimedia Foundation when search engines intend to indefinitely remove links to Wikimedia projects from their results.

"We do not know who requested each removal. People should not assume that a subject of an article made the request, since others may have the opportunity to make such a demand for removal.

"We are not aware of other search engines processes or the number of requests they are receiving and granting. Search engines may not provide proper notices, so we appreciate the companies who share our commitment to free speech and transparency. Compelled censorship is unacceptable, but compelled censorship without notice is unforgivable."

The notices so far show that an article about Italian mobster Renato Vallanzasca have been 'forgotten', with the majority of links removed from Wikipedia's Dutch website.

Earlier this week, it was reported that "one" Wikipedia link had been forgotten under the ECJ ruling, although no further details were revealed.

What is know, however, is that the news hasn't gone down well with the online encyclopedia.

Speaking to Techcrunch in June, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said, "You do not have a right to use the law to prevent Wikipedia editors from writing truthful information, nor do you have a right to use the law to prevent Google from publishing truthful information.

"Wikipedia can and should work hard to do a good job, just as Google can and should work hard to do a good job."

Last week it was revealed that, despite the controversy surrounding the ruling, Google has agreed to remove "the majority" of takedown requests it has received so far, with the number of links 'forgotten' so far said to exceed 100,000.

Requests so far have reportedly come from 91,000 individuals and cover over more than 328,000 URLs. Of these, it is said that 12,000 requests have come from the UK.

Following this news, the House of Lords slammed the 'right to be forgotten' ruling as "unworkable, unreasonable and wrong in principal," saying that search engine providers are "ill-equipped" to handle the extra workload. µ

 

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