Google Acknowledges What A Mess This Is

    July 11, 2014
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

The whole “right to be forgotten” thing is an absolute mess, and Google knows it. Google always knew it would be, which is why it always opposed the concept, but now it has no choice but to comply with law. The company is still being vocal in its opposition, while also trying to make people understand the difficult job it’s faced with, and why it’s going to make mistakes. From the sound of it, Google seems to be acknowledging that mistakes will continue to be made as it struggles with figuring out what it should be censoring from search results and what it should not.

I know I wouldn’t want to be in the position of having to make that call. Do you think Google is doing a reasonable job of handling its role in the court’s decision? Share your thoughts in the comments.

I’m going to assume that your’e at least somewhat familiar with what’s going on. If not, peruse these articles on the saga. In a very basic nutshell, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that search engines must take requests for content to be removed from search results when it’s “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive” in relation to the person being searched for.

Google has to remove search results, while the actual content may remain on the sites where published. The company equates this to keeping a book in a library, but removing it from the card catalog.

The search engine has only been actually removing content from search results for a couple weeks now, but there have already been controversial examples of removed results (unsurprisingly), which Google has now admitted that it shouldn’t have actually removed.

David Drummond, Google’s Chief Legal Officer and Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, wrote an article for The Guardian, which the company has re-posted to its official blog, discussing the challenges it faces, and the errors it has already made.

Google has a team of people tasked with reviewing applications for content to be removed. According to Drummond, most of these come with very little information and “almost no context”. So Google, who shouldn’t be forced to make such judgments to begin with, has to make judgments about censorship with very little to go on. Like I said, I wouldn’t want to be in that position.

Drummond writes, “The examples we’ve seen so far highlight the difficult value judgments search engines and European society now face: former politicians wanting posts removed that criticise their policies in office; serious, violent criminals asking for articles about their crimes to be deleted; bad reviews for professionals like architects and teachers; comments that people have written themselves (and now regret). In each case someone wants the information hidden, while others might argue that it should be out in the open.”

“When it comes to determining what’s in the public interest, we’re taking into account a number of factors,” he adds. “These include whether the information relates to a politician, celebrity or other public figure; if the material comes from a reputable news source, and how recent it is; whether it involves political speech; questions of professional conduct that might be relevant to consumers; the involvement of criminal convictions that are not yet ‘spent'; and if the information is being published by a government. But these will always be difficult and debatable judgments.”

He says Google is doing its best to be transparent about removals. As you may know, Google is showing the following statement on some search results pages in the EU:

Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe. Learn more.

Google says it will also include the requests in its transparency report, and will continue to notify publishers and webmasters when their pages have been pulled from results, but as Drummond notes, it can’t include specific information about why such pages were removed because it would violate the privacy rights of the individual in question. That’s part of the court’s ruling.

“Of course, only two months in our process is still very much a work in progress,” says Drummond. “It’s why we incorrectly removed links to some articles last week (they’ve since been reinstated). But the good news is that the ongoing, active debate that’s happening will inform the development of our principles, policies and practices – in particular about how to balance one person’s right to privacy with another’s right to know.”

That’s a semi-optimistic view, but you have to wonder how frequently Google will continue to “incorrectly remove” links. Google, as of Drummond’s writing has had over 70,000 take-down requests spanning 250,000 web pages just since May. We can only assume that they’ll continue to pour in for the foreseeable future.

The company has set up an “advisory council of experts,” from outside of Google to advise Google on the issues at hand. These individuals come from the media, academia, data protection, civil society, and the tech sector, and are asking for evidence and recommendations from various groups, while holding public meetings across Europe to “examine these issues more deeply.”

The experts will make a report available to the public, and it will include recommendations for “particularly difficult” removal requests like criminal convictions, as well as thoughts on the implications of the ruling for users, publishers, search engines, etc. It will also contain steps to improve accountability and transparency, according to Google.

“The issues at stake here are important and difficult, but we’re committed to complying with the court’s decision,” Drummond concludes. “Indeed, it’s hard not to empathise with some of the requests that we’ve seen – from the man who asked that we do not show a news article saying that he had been questioned in connection with a crime (he’s able to demonstrate that he was never charged) to the mother who requested that we remove news articles for her daughter’s name as she had been the victim of abuse. t’s a complex issue, with no easy answers. So a robust debate is both welcome and necessary as, on this issue at least, no search engine has an instant or perfect answer.”

Google has been much quicker than its search engine peers to comply with the court’s ruling, but has also been criticized for just that.

Do you think Google jumped into this too quickly, or should it have taken its time like Yahoo and Bing? Should the whole thing be handled differently? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Image via Google

  • fran farrell

    This could be the start of something good: 1) twenty eight countries will have to deploy 10 or more of the best and brightest legal clerks in each country to translate what the EJC said into terms that can be compared with the settled law of each country 2) Google will employ hundreds of its employees and solicit help from other parties interested in making sense of the ruling.

    Possible outcomes include but are not limited to 1) faster and more accurate ways of correcting “bad” data on the worldwideweb not just the EUs part 2) a way to make the EUJ act less like Judge Roy Bean and more like the US Supreme Court.

  • Mandla

    Just because, usually, ordinary people like us are not harassed and humiliated by people behind the guise of free speech over the internet, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Counless women have to be reminded of their moments of shame by people that can publish their photos. People post all sorts of hurtful things about others. I love this law, makes more sense than what nose-poking people are saying. I just think there should be a clause that excludes convicted criminals and those that pose an immediate danger if they stay anonymous. Otherwise, leave people alone! I should have the right to be forgotten and LEFT ALONE.

    • https://restore.solutions/ Numus Software

      Censorship is Censorship, i am sure some radical Muslims would want things censored that a devout catholic would not want removed and visa versa. Each individual has a perspective of what is right and what is wrong.. if everybody gets what they think is wrong removed THERE WILL BE NOTHING LEFT.. think about it for a minute.. WAKE UP.. What if the criminal was only a criminal in Russia or Iran.. DEFINE CRIMINAL.. from who’s point of view?

      Who is going to be the worlds judge and jury on the perspective of an individual.. ? DON’T HIDE CENSORSHIP BEHIND MORALITY !! Hitler made a good case along those lines and i am sure he would want the right to be forgotten.. DON’T CENSOR THE GREATS TOOL HUMAN KIND HAS EVER HAD AT ITS DISPOSAL…

    • Chris Koffend

      I don’t think you understand what they said. It doesn’t prevent any of what you are concerned about from being posted to the internet. It also doesn’t force the removal of all that stuff you spoke to be removed from the internet. The rule simply states that Google cannot tell people where that information is and how to get there. This law is not forcing any information to be removed from the internet.

      • Paul Crowley

        So, let’s see… if you can’t find it, does it matter that it is still there?Clearly this could be construed as an argument in favor of a plurality of search engines, but when they all have to follow the same law, what difference does it make? You still will not be able to find “deleted” information.

  • http://www.bloketoys.co.uk/ BlokeToys.co.uk

    Obviously there are instances where it should not be used, for example a politician being caught receiving a bribe from a corporation. These things really are in the public interest and must not be silenced.

    However, the rest of us are not in power managing the country, operating a sinister corporation doing truly sinister things, or breaking the law in any way, therefore we all have a right to have spurious and libelous content removed when we demand it.

    Anyone can create a website and create whatever they want about any poor individual without really facing any action to prevent it, and it’s time this stopped. If someone was posting pictures and disgusting accusations about you all over your neighborhood you would have a right to take legal action, why is it not the case when it’s Google, Twitter, Facebook or others facilitation this on a global scale?

    These massive tech companies have gotten away with so much already, running vast corporations with masses of data outside of the reach of many laws. They employ a skeleton crew to do the absolute bare minimum, and they now have to be FORCED into hiring an adequate number of staff to make themselves FULLY ACCOUNTABLE and in compliance with law.

    I look forward to seeing this continue, with all the biggest internet companies being forced to provide the systems and facilities any other company of their size and reach should have in place. Twitter and reporting, Facebook and blocking, Google and removing… it’s all the same problem, greedy corporations not wanting to pay more to provide the ways and means to allow users security, anonymity and removal.

    • http://www.madamsabi.wordpress.com madamsabi

      I agree with your train of thoughts and at the same time, there are two sides of a coin. Many oorganizations and politicians will use this law to their advantage making the public vulnerable and gullible to them. Visit http://www.madamsabi.wordpress.com for inspiring articles of real people.

    • Chris Koffend

      Sorry, once again, the law does not remove any content from the internet. Whether it is spruious, libelous or just plain embarrassing. It simply says that Google cannot tell people where the information is and how to get there. The information will still be there, Google just won’t provide a link to it or note that it even exists – though there will be many other ways to find it.

      • Paul Crowley

        Many other ways to find it? For the average person, how?I am assuming the “average person” doesn’t belong to the group that links to every political rumor article on the Internet. Because links are the only way such information would be retained. Use another search engine? No, sorry – they all have to follow the same removal rules.

        • Chris Koffend

          Other ways:

          Let’s say you are search the name John Doe in an effort to find the history of a rape that was committed 20 years by him as a minor. John Doe submits to Google that the search under “his” name should not show a link to the article or records that show him as a rapist. So you search John Doe and this link does not appear in the search engine results.

          However, let’s say the victims name was Jane Doe. You now type into the search engine, Jane Doe. And there pops up a link to the very same article or data that John Doe has requested be expunged from searches using “his” name.

          The search engine would still be in compliance with the law. That is how a “average person” would find the article/data.

          Now, as you say, it is an embarrassing political article and in this case John Doe is the politician. He was embroiled in a scandal having to do with corruption in campaign finance laws. John Doe submits to Google and Bing and Yahoo and all sorts of other search engines to expunge the link in searches when his “name” is used as the search key words. You search “john doe” and the corruption articles do not appear. However, if one searches corruption articles, the link to the article that address John Doe’s corruption scandal would/could still occur/appear and be within the legal requirements.

          • Paul Crowley

            I suspect a far simpler approach is to remove the source page from the index. I’m not even sure you could possibly filter things dynamically based on search criteria. Remember, the first non-permitted result that shows up in EU territory likely starts a new round of litigation. Every search engine is going to want the simplest and cheapest solution to this problem that is foolproof and can be shown to be such to their board.

  • https://restore.solutions/ Numus Software

    Censoring search results!! and suddenly big corporations CEO’s defense contractors all want their dirty linen removed. Censorship is NEVER a positive thing. bye bye internet … it was nice knowing you.. This was never about an individuals rights to be forgotten it was a mechanism to censor the net… I am so angry at the stupidity of the courts / and general populous.. best eat your Mc Donalds drink the cool aid.. and eat the GM food.. jeeeeez wake up

  • Bothknees

    “So Google, …. has to make judgments about censorship….”

    Ha, ha. Google does just that with its infamous penalties right now. Judge, jury, executioner. No presentation of evidence and automatic assumption of guilt. One of the most unfair censorship judgement processes on the planet

    This is just a case of the pot calling the kettle black and falls into the same category of 1984 speak as “Do no evil”.

    At least they now know how it feels. Time for an anti-trust suit and for Google to be broken up. If they were not so powerful this would not be so much of an issue.

    Use Yahoo instead.

  • http://docsheldon.com/ Doc Sheldon

    The EJC has forced us all over the the crest of a very slippery slope. Certainly, there are cases in which there should exist some sort of recourse for innocent individuals to have libelous or harmful information removed. But in my opinion, the onus of determining the validity of such requests is severely misplaced by making a search engine responsible for essentially censoring content.
    Google has been placed in an untenable situation, which unfairly forces them to shoulder the costs of administration that should be borne by the courts. It’s easy to say “Google has deep pockets – they can afford it”, but the real issue is whether or not WE can afford to permit such action.
    Though I know it’s highly unlikely, I’d (almost) love to see Google make itself unavailable to the EU. Methinks that might make the idiots on the EJC rethink their position.

    • Jon Burnham

      DS – I think the EU leaders are simply superfluous – like most politicos, they do not make themselves knowledgeable of the world they legislate in. I too would love Google to be no longer available in the EU – but not just for this argument.

  • http://www.cannabis-spain.com Paz LeBon

    If people wanttheir shit removed, they have a right for it to be removed. Its power to the peiople for a change, not power to the corps

    • http://nosint.blogspot.com/ Ko Savonije

      Their shit doesn’t get removed, just the search engine result when searched from within the EU.
      Get it removed at the source, and it will vanish from the search engine results.
      The way it is now, everyone can bypass this filtering using a proxy-server from outside the EU, this whole “right to be forgotten” law is a joke.

      • http://www.cannabis-spain.com Paz LeBon

        Good point, it can be removed at source…. altho that is presumi g everyone knoww everything about the internet and id presume the majority do not. So i think about mom n pop folk who didnt hit privacy on something 😉

      • Paul Crowley

        Unfortunately there are two classes of information on the Internet: popular and not-so-popular. Popular information is copied everywhere so there no hope in the world of purging all of it. All you have to have is one copy on a web site administered in a non-compliant country and they will not respond to legal requests to remove it.How long do you think the “proxy” or non-EU search will work? This has to be worldwide in order for it to have any meaning at all. Likely, Google will not be maintaining separate indexes based on each countries policies very long. I can’t imaging Bing, Yahoo or any of the others maintaining such country-specific indexes. You certainly do not expect this to end with the EU, do you?

        • http://nosint.blogspot.com/ Ko Savonije

          The filtering is IP based, not geographical.

          A worlwide law will take decades. Governments have agreed to disagree on may issues, and I don’t think it will be different here.

          A user who wants info removed from a search index needs to ask each and every search engine operator separately, and for now it’s up to the operator to remove it or not. Another flaw in this law.

  • http://www.sprintnet.co.za Clint Armstrong

    Personally i think it is totally wrong for anyone to make a ruling on what and what not the people should be privy to. That is in my opinion, impacting on decisions i make in my life based on what i know and learn, in essence taking away my freedom to choose! People make decisions on who they elect into government based that persons abilities to lead and implement best practice for the future of our children, if the ability to inform myself with information and background on the person is taken away, what happens to my ability to make informed decisions. If you disgraced yourself and got caught on camera in a public environment and that got posted for the world to see, is it the people’s fault you done that, definitely not it’s your own! Stand up and be accountable for your actions!

    If you have something to hide from the public, then it’s because of something you done. Stand up and be accountable for it. If a murderer comes out of prison and moves into the house next to me, i would definitely want to know about it! I am a family man and have children that i need to protect, arming me with the right information gives me the ability to do that! If you don’t want it in the media don’t post it online, don’t get caught doing it in the public eye, as then it is not the media that will expose you but up to the police men and women’s duty to find you, if its a criminal offence and if its something petty that you don’t want out in the world, keep it to yourself, the best kept secrets are those you don’t share.

    I believe taking away and deleting information is not in the best interest of any countries people as it impedes on their ability to make informed decisions. You cant not run a country saying everyone is free and equal and has freedom of choice, when the information they receive is controlled! That is spoon feeding a population in a direction that a certain few feel is right for everyone. I am sorry but i cant see the right it that but only the wrong! When you do that you are no longer a FREE person but rather a person living in a jail without bars being governed by a select few.

    • Paul Crowley

      The problem is today you can write something in a blog that says I am a Somali Pirate and a child molester. I can sue you and have it taken down – if I can find you, but I can’t do anything about the web site hosted in Ukraine that copied your article.So if I am denied a job because of this article, what recourse do I have? The short answer today is none, none at all. This is hardly reasonable but is reality.So how do you fix this situation? You can try making Google out to be “King of the Internet”, but as you can see, that doesn’t work and places the undue responsibility on a commercial entity with motives and agendas of their own. I don’t think “accurate” information should be eligible to be removed, although it might be good if it has a destroy-by date. I think the standards for “inaccurate” information should be lower but I don’t want Google deciding what is accurate and what is not.

  • Mark

    Regarding the two closing questions, what Google should do is close down Google search. They can’t get it right and actually seemed determined to serve up a lousy user experience there. By ending that fiasco and leaving search to the much better Bing and Yahoo, Google can focus on other things that it is actually good at.

    • Chris Koffend

      Bing uses Google to perform seaches for its users, or at least that is what is used to do.

      Yahoo, AOL, . . . . oh gee

      • Paul Crowley

        Bing is a Microsoft operation and they clearly have their own index with their own rankings – you can do a search on Google and Bing and get completely different first-page results.Of course, this means there are two different organizations to bribe to get your links on the first page of search results.

        • Chris Koffend

          When Bing was first launched, it WAS actually using Google to produce it’s search results. You can Google it!


    Google is making a meal
    of this deliberately as it is trying to turn the public opinion
    against the ruling. The ruling is very simple to implement and
    cannot be more clear to those who are familiar with the law. This is
    simply Google throwing it’s toys out of its pram because it does not
    want to employ people to carry the task properly. Google also does
    not want to be accountable to any court, government or user, and sees
    this as a starting point for accountability for the content it
    caches. This is a good law and more importantly a necessary law to
    protect everyone. The law holds any minor criminal record is wiped
    out after a number of years so people can get back to their normal
    life (except of course any crime of serious nature). This cannot
    happen when search engines hold records for eternity. Google caching
    and storing of content makes this impossible, which means you will
    forever be tagged with a stupidity of your action when you were 18.
    The fact that you are now 40 and a responsible citizen does not cut
    the mustard here, even though the law says your misbehaviour is
    forgiven and records should be expunged to give you a second chance
    in life. This law is necessary in a civilised society where the rule
    of law is respected.

    • Paul Crowley

      There is a difference between getting the information removed now (right away!!!) from the Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. indexes and having a “destroy by date” on it.A first cut might be that search engines (and the Internet Archive) need to delete indexes and copies after some agreed upon time. A second suggestion is that “news” articles need to have an expiration date for some types of content. Things that copy or repost such news articles need to follow the original publication rules for a destroy-by date as well. Now the problem is, who is responsible for tracking such stuff? Unfortunately, the answer is likely nobody.

    • Chris Koffend

      I don’t think you really understand what the law says. There is no removal of records, information, and data from the internet. This is not what the law does with regard to Google searches. Those records or sites with the data that some find embarrassing will still exist and be available via the internet (unless somebody can have the actual data removed – which this law does not appear to address). The law simply states that upon legitimate request, that Google will not include the links to said information when a search is performed using very specific “data” search requests, ie. the persons name.

      For example, if my name is John Doe and I submit to Google to exclude my past, criminal history from showing up under searches when the search is for my name, Google must comply with this information. However, the data that shows the information that embarrasses me will still exist on the internet. So let’s say my criminal record from my minor years includes a horrible crime against Jane Doe, a Google search for “Jane Doe” can still result in a link that takes viewers exactly to the website and data that I am “requesting” Google to prevent searches for. Yet, in this scenario, Google would be acting 100% in accordance with the new law.

      Google, per this law, is in no way responsible from removing data from the internet. Their responsibility is, upon legitimate request, removing links from very defined searches. Searches performed using other “key” words that are not included in the “protected” search definitions can and will still show those links.

      • ZEDBAR

        Chris. Thank you for the comment. I do have a very good understanding of the law on this matter as I own a web hosting company which means we have to be 100% up-to-date and clear about any legislation relating to the Internet and web content.

        Of course the content will still be on the net but without a link in the search results of Google, Yahoo, etc., it will be pretty difficult to find it. ECJ decided to make ruling on search engines as it does not have universal jurisdiction outside of the EU. This means if the content is held on a server outside of the EU, any request for removal would have to rely on good will of the content owner rather then law. The ruling makes the search engines responsible because the law makers clearly understand that the route to content is via search engines (At least for 99.9% of the cases).

        Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the person requesting the removal to discover all other contents that may refer to the case and request them to be removed. The onus is on the person requesting the removal and not on Search Engines to find and remove links to other related items.

        The test is pretty simple:

        1. Is the article or content directly referring to an individual requesting the removal? e.g., a person having made a comment on the article does not have a right to ask for it to be removed but the person mentioned in the body of the content can ask for removal.

        2. Is the subject matter still relevant? e.g., Was the person found to be innocent of the crime, then why still show content when you know the courts have found the person “not guilty”.

        3. Does the subject have any time-bound legal definition? e.g., if it refers to any conviction, has the time deemed to have been “Spent” hence no longer on public record.

        4. Is the content a matter of Public Interest? Need to make sure we understand the difference between “Public Interest” and the “Interest of the Public”. Tittle-tattle, gossip and celebrity trash stories might be of some interest to some segment of the public, but it does not mean they have a right to know it as per “Interest of the Public”. So Public Interest and what the “Public is Interested In” are two different matters.

        So all of these can be measured and decided by anyone with reasonable intelligence and without an axe to grind, of course unless they have an interest to make a fuss!

  • Jonnie

    European juristriction – end of story – the US can debate what it wants to do but stay out of European affairs – this is OUR juristriction and OUR decision, it does not require comment from the US. I am fed up with US sources trying to make a story out of this and kicking up the dust whilst forgetting it has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM !!!

    • Paul Crowley

      Why do you think the US Google index will hold indexes “unpermitted” in the EU? Or Bing, or Yahoo or any of the other search engines? The minute an EU court types in google.com instead of google.de and finds the “unpermitted” information is still available that is the end of that story. Neither Google nor the EU are that stupid!

      • http://nosint.blogspot.com/ Ko Savonije

        The search results will be filtered basen on the location (IP address) of the user. This law only applies to searches from within the EU for now. But I don’t see a world wide law coming, governments have the unmannerliness to disagree on anything.

        • Paul Crowley

          A worldwide law isn’t needed for search engine providers to decide on one, filtered index for the world. The first EU user that is able access a search that returns supposedly blocked data results in a long and expensive lawsuit. Much simpler (and more efficient) to have one index.

          • http://nosint.blogspot.com/ Ko Savonije

            There is one (Google) index, the page with the name in it kan still be searched/found. There will only be a no result when searching with that name when searching from within the EU.

            And there will be a note to the search results saying “Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe”.

            And there will be countries which will prohibit this kind of filtering.

  • Acorn

    The desire for access to unlimited information is akin to the desire for open ended power. There is absolutely no necessity for the average person to internet “creep” whatever and whomever they wish. This is not freedom defined, in fact it is quite the opposite. Personal privacy, whether it be in the confines of one’s home, or in print has always been an expectation of citizens living in modern non-totalitarian societies. Legally, a person’s right to fair representation of their character in public is defended and protected through slander and libel laws. However, with the new and insatiable desire for unlimited information, printed with no responsibility for accuracy nor accountability, and a warped belief that it is now a right for unrestricted access, these hitherto sacrosanct defenses to one’s character have been sacrificed on the alter of self righteous desire for the most potent power out there – information.
    The fact that major organizations can now make billions of dollars on the selective processing of information that is not even their intellectual property, coupled with the tacit indication from Google and other search engines online that a perfectly moral and just ruling in defense of personal liberty is almost impossible to follow given current technological and structural capabilities is sickening.

    We are all told to be afraid of identity theft – and with good reason. What’s the point though if we can not guarantee the correctness and even appropriateness of personal information being supplied on a world wide forum?

  • Jonnie

    I got even more fed up when I clicked on user profiles and noted that the first two objectors were from South Africa and the US – debate your own political affairs and shed that arrogance that allows you to think you have a say in other juristrictions – you do not have a say on EU affairs.

    • jonnie

      Let us not forget that the broader concept of “freedom” in the US allows regular citizens to keep assault rifles in their own homes. I do not judge that “freedom” although these days I take little interest when the inevitable happens and the whole world is expected yet again to shake its head in sympathy for a problem that would appear to be self inflicted.

      Also the freedom that extremist groups enjoy in the US but would not enjoy in some parts of Europe, I take the view that the “freedom” of the indivual to live without being subject to racist attacks outweighs the freedom of the wierdos who take sanctuary in woodland communes in the US and practise with their AK47’s for the comming race wars, suffice it to say that they would not be tolerated in the EU.

      It seems redundant to point out the US concept of survellance which includes bugging EU leaders and even industrial espionage under the veil of national security thanks to the NSA.

      I will take note of American emotive cries on the subject of freedom and the right of a citizen when I see them taking a serious look at how their own ideas of freedom affects their own citizens never mind their disgraceful survelliance activities – not terrorist but EU politicians being bugged by the NSA.

      Please not more preaching by Americans on the subject on the general concept of freedom – I live in the EU and I enjoy a significantly lower chance of being shot and I am protected against zealots and extremists who may dislike me for my skin color, religion or similar – I will take the measured and thoughtful stance of the EU over the increasingly crazy and inconsistent American view any day – the US has nothing to teach the rest of us.

      This sanctimonious and inconsistent drivel p****s me off no end.

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  • Dolce Vita

    Hmmm, lets see. Google asked webmasters to remove thousands of links to their own sites that they had no knowledge of , didn’t offer help, and penalized honest sites that didn’t comply by removing them from the serps, thereby closing thousands of small businesses and putting Americans out of work. I say “Hell Yes”. Let Google figure it out.

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  • Tom

    If Google is forced to do this, they should block access to all .GOV websites, too.
    “I’m sorry, Google no longer displays search results for .GOV websites, please contact your local congressman for the appropriate URL.”

  • Chris Koffend

    Okay, so what we have is really a law that says the following.

    If there is a sign available to the public to look at and read, and I am standing on the side of the road and somebody says to me, can you tell me where this sign is located, that I would become liable for telling you how to find that sign.

    It is fine that the sign remains, that it is available for all to see and read, but it becomes illegal for me to tell people where this sign, available to all, is located.

  • Paul Crowley

    A “modern” view of things is that history will now be defined by Google. What we are talking about a Ministry of Truth going back and revising history on a continuing basis. This is not something that belongs in the hands of a advertising supported company, and it has very scary implications for anyone doing research on recent events.I suppose the argument could be made that such editing isn’t really revising content, but if you can’t find it, what relevance does the content have?