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Public outcry over the 'right to be forgotten' sends Google flip-flopping

"European Union flag"

Above: "European Union flag"

Image Credit: Yanni Koutsomitis

Google has decided to stop censoring the Guardian in European search results.

After censoring stories from the Guardian, the BBC and the Daily Mail in its search engine yesterday, Google has partially reversed its decision to censor the work of journalists. The firm last night reintroduced seven links to Guardian stories back into search results in Europe, Reuters reports.

The acts of censorship were carried out to enforce the European Union’s “right to be forgotten” law.

It appears that other high-profile removals remain unchanged, including the censoring of a BBC article which details the ousting of a former Merrill Lynch chief executive.

As VentureBeat detailed yesterday, “The very purpose of the EU’s “right to be forgotten” law was to hide content that violates the privacy of an individual. Already, under the law, we’ve observing the exact opposite scenario. The intentions of the law are now effectively void, because for every article removed, a new article appears. Each act of censorship will rattle journalism at its core, and as a result, awareness of the very stories select individuals hoped to hide will skyrocket.”

Google’s reversal reveals holes in the overreaching nature of the EU’s forget-me-law. It is unclear how Google will proceed, but the firm said in a statement obtained by Reuters that “this is a new and evolving process for us. We’ll continue to listen to feedback and will also work with data protection authorities and others as we comply with the ruling.”

Read more: Europe’s ‘right to be forgotten’ law is already destroying itself.

More information:

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