A European court ruling is affecting more journalists across the pond. First, BBC economics editor Robert Peston found a 2007 blog post about an ousted Merrill Lynch director scrubbed from Google's search results. Now, The Guardian has had six articles removed from European search, after the courts ruled that Google must honor requests to take out certain results.
Three of the articles were about a Scottish Premier League referee, Dougie McDonald. McDonald, per The Guardian's description, "was found to have lied about his reasons for granting a penalty in a Celtic v Dundee United match, the backlash to which prompted his resignation." Much like the Peston article, as there was only one person mentioned in the piece, it is clear who requested their removal.
Again, Google's policy of removal from search comes into question. The requirements for being "forgotten" are that the information must be "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant. "however, the only four year old articles about McDonald are still relevant to the soccer world, especially in light of the World Cup, and are sufficiently adequate.
The other three articles are a 2011 story about French officer workers creating art with Post-Its (I would love to be associated with that story), a 2002 story about "a solicitor facing a fraud trial standing for a seat on the Law Society's ruling body" and an index of a week's worth of stories written by Roy Greenslade.
While the stories will no longer appear in European Google searches, they will remain on their websites. Google results will still show the stories if they are searched more generally, rather than using the specific name of the person who wants to be "forgotten." For example, a Google search of "Scottish referee who lied" still shows the Guardian story, but a search of "Dougie McDonald" does not.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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