Google Starts Removing Search Results After EU Ruling

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by Incredulicide, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. Incredulicide Member

    "Google has begun removing some search results to comply with a European Union ruling upholding citizens' right to have objectionable personal information about them hidden in search engines. "Google engineers overnight updated the company's technical infrastructure to begin implementing the removals, and Thursday began sending the first emails to individuals informing them that links they had requested were being taken down. The company has hired a dedicated 'removals team' to evaluate each request, though only a small number of the initial wave of takedown requests has so far been processed."

    What's the bet Kristi Wachter's database site of names will stop showing up in google results when we're checking to see if someone in the news behaving in some supportive manner to the CoS is a scientologist?
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  2. DeathHamster Member

    That would give me a happy! Anyone with a copy of the db could run a scan to see which names are missing from Google results and those are the people to keep an eye on.
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  3. Incredulicide Member

    Assuming they don't just order every member to make a request (or make it on behalf of them).
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  4. The Wrong Guy Member

    Google reverses decision to delete British newspaper links | Reuters

    Google Inc on Thursday reversed its decision to remove several links to stories in Britain's Guardian newspaper, underscoring the difficulty the search engine is having implementing Europe's "right to be forgotten" ruling.

    The Guardian protested the removal of its stories describing how a soccer referee lied about reversing a penalty decision. It was unclear who asked Google to remove the stories.

    Separately, Google has not restored links to a BBC article that described how former Merrill Lynch Chief Executive Officer E. Stanley O'Neal was ousted after the investment bank racked up billions of dollars in losses.

    The incidents underscore the uncertainty around how Google intends to adhere to a May European court ruling that gave its citizens the "right to be forgotten:" to request the scrubbing of links to articles that pop up under a name search.

    Privacy advocates say the backlash around press censorship highlight the potential dangers of the ruling and its unwieldiness in practice. That in turn may benefit Google by stirring debate about the soundness of the ruling, which the Internet search leader criticized the ruling from the outset.

    Google, which has received more than 70,000 requests, began acting upon them in past days. And it notified the BBC and the Guardian, which in turn publicized the moves.

    Continued at
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  5. JohnnyRUClear Member

    Monopolies are bad, m'kay?
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  6. The Internet Member

    There are other search engines. But they might be expected to remove stuff also.
  7. Scientology using European Court of Justice ruling on 'right to be forgotten' to remove Google links to critical articles.

    Google translation from German to English:

    Spiegel Online: Right to be forgotten: Google removed SPIEGEL article from search results

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  8. Ann O'Nymous Member

    I guess individuals have a right to be forgotten, but removing their names from the articles should be enough.

    I find it difficult to understand why Google, who always says that it is not responsible for the content they refer to, feels now the need to feel responsible for it.

    If news organizations were to remove the names on request, Google would have nothing to do.
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  9. NOPE
    in germany:
    if the newpaper is lieing about you or your company/ngo they(the newspaper) can get froce to writte a "sorry" story about this.
  10. vaLLarrr Member

    If the clams are trying to delete things from our internets, chances are they're juicy thing that we haven't yet noticed.

    Like a hawk, they must be watched.
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  11. Twinkle Member

    Maybe Davey will be stupid enough to issue and order saying Scientology must be removed from the internet.
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  12. DeathHamster Member

    Wasn't there a previous thread for some "heath food and vitamins" guy in Germany who wanted his Scientology links removed from Google?

    It sure didn't take them very long. They're rather predictable that way.
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  13. Ogsonofgroo Member

    Hm, do I detect an air of 'Striesand Effect'? Is this people trying to hide past affiliations with cult, or cult trying to hide negative press? I r confused, off to read a bit more...
    Edit~ Okay, def cult trying to hide/bury history, hmmmm, bwahahahaha! Or maybe not. From the Reddit discussioin it sounds like an individual request?
    Aw poop, needing some more popping-corn... *digs in toolbox for an attention-spanner*
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  14. DeathHamster Member

    And this is why farming out the local searchbox on a site to Google has hidden gotchas. Google needs to clarify if those searches are affected by this, and if this can Unperson a page on the site itself. (Maybe change the "Powered by Google" logo to "Castrated by Google"?)
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  15. Twinkle Member

    Not forgetting Penetrated by Facebook!
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  16. Ogsonofgroo Member

    ^^^ Lolol, man I miss the 'funny' button :D
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  17. DeathHamster Member

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  18. dispart Member

    original article (including links within):
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  19. DeathHamster Member

    Does anyone have the link to the original Spiegel article with the actual mention of HeWhoMustBeForgotten?

    I suppose I can see why Spiegel doesn't link to it in the current article, but there's no court order against it, and so long as the name isn't used, it won't invoke Google's filter.

    I suppose I could grab all of Spiegel's German articles on Scientology, and figure out which one it is.
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  20. dispart Member

    If you google the title of the article together with "Fred Anton" it doesn't show up in google's search results.

    The article in question is from 1995 and details a Scientology scheme in the Hamburg housing market in the 1990s, even though it was said to have begun in the early 1980s. According to the article, it went as follows: People who couldn't be recognized as being connected to CoS bought
    block flat houses with tenants, then the flats for rent were changed into owner-occupied flats. Then, often after the tenants were driven out,
    scientological brokers were negotiating the sale of these flats. As empty flats can be sold at a much higher price than occupied flats it's easy to make money that way.

    Another method described by the article, doesn't require non-scientologist involvement: Buying a house with little equity, the main amount is to be paid at a later, fixed date. During this time they try to sell as many flats as possible. From the proceeds the original purchase amount is being paid. The financial risk of this operation is thereby put on the people buying the flats who may already have incurred costs such as broker or notary fees, or costs for moving without ever becoming owners of the flats.

    The article quotes a person from a tenant's association which said that every other older building that was being sold in Hamburg at the time, was being sold by scientologists. The association had observed for years that tenants in such buildings had been scared via constant phone calls and unrequested visits. The article states that cult representatives were urging them to buy or move out. People who didn't want to buy or were unable to, were being talked into clearing their flat in exchange for a cash payment between 10000 and 50000 deutschmarks. Once the flat was empty its value was rising by up to 40 percent.

    This method had led to cheap living space, in particular used by people of little means, being systematically destroyed in the city.

    These business dealings were characterized by the article as one of the main sources of revenue for "the scientologists in Germany" (which probably means CoS). High ranking former members are quoted with saying that at the time, about one third of the yearly income of CoS, which was estimated to be in the billions, was brought in by members in Germany and Switzerland.

    The main person mentioned in the article was Götz Brase as a broker, connected to the companies Reddy-Immobilien, GGB and CKS, who
    according to the article didn't use money for himself, but for Scientology as an OT7 and so-called "patron". Two business people from Hamburg
    are mentioned as well ( Robert Boehm and Fred Anton who is described as a former fellow student of Brase's at university ), in connection with the companies MetaReal, MegaReal, TransWert and EcoGrund. They, according to the article, were involved in buying and transforming the block flat houses. Both of them strongly insisted not to be connected with Scientology.

    The article also apparently described that money for this operation was beginning to run dry and that there was an increased resistance by an unlikely alliance of tenant, broker and owner associations as well as by banks unwilling to hand out loans to some institutions or people involved.
    As an aside, during this time, according to the article an delegation consisting of Kurt Weiland (OSA) and Marc Yager (WISE) came
    to Hamburg and removed the head of the Org, Ms Hansen, from post. Supposedly due to allegations of having falsified statistics concerning income and membership numbers, because she was afraid of having to report a downward trend.

    Interestingly you get the same remark by google even with people and articles where nothing seems to have been deleted.
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  21. Incredulicide Member is publishing all the known search terms removed:

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  22. The Wrong Guy Member

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  23. The Wrong Guy Member

    Wikipedia link to be hidden in Google under 'right to be forgotten' law | The Guardian

    Request for blocking of search results granted to anonymous applicant is first to affect an entry in the online encyclopaedia

    Google is set to restrict search terms to a link to a Wikipedia article, in the first request under Europe's controversial new "right to be forgotten" legislation to affect the 110m-page encyclopaedia.

    The identity of the individual requesting a change to Google's search results has not been disclosed and may never be known, but it is understood the request will be put into effect within days. Google and other search engines can only remove the link – as with other "right to be forgotten" requests, the web page itself will remain on Wikipedia.

    In May, the European Court of Justice ruled that citizens could ask search engines to remove particular links from results for a search made under their name, if the material was deemed to be out of date, no longer relevant or excessive.

    Google has already begun to implement the ruling, with tens of thousands of links removed from its European search results to sites ranging from the BBC to the Daily Express. Among the data now "hidden" from Google is an article about the 2009 Muslim conversion of Adam Osborne, brother of the chancellor, George Osborne.

    Jimmy Wales, who co-founded Wikipedia in 2001 and has overseen its transformation into the sixth most visited site on the internet, told the Observer: "It's completely insane and it needs to be fixed."

    Wales is one of 10 members of an advisory council formed by Google to decide how to handle takedown requests. The council will travel Europe, with a first hearing scheduled in Madrid on 9 September, before writing guidance for Google and other search engines, such as Microsoft's Bing, on implementing the new law.

    Continued at
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  24. tinfoilhatter Member

    This sounds like a bad idea.

    Like, an idea that can not be implemented that well, and one that when it becomes implemented, will have some nasty unforeseen effects on everything as a whole.
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  25. JohnnyRUClear Member

    Scientology brings everyone closer together.
  26. jensting Member

    As predictable as the temptation for teh criminal organisation known as the "church" of $cientolgy is, they're way ahead of it as we may have or may not have heard in connection with a super injunction and the UK and a book by an ex-victim...

    Also, France has privacy laws which trump the right of the public to know the contents of court sentence documents. Yes really. (This requires the full names in court documents to be redacted to initials, pretty handy for those who have something to hide.)
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  27. DeathHamster Member

    I'm suspicious of their search results because they don't appear to have a searchbot.
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  28. DeathHamster Member

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  29. Incredulicide Member

    Nice catch! Although the spelling is Wiebke Hansen in the article.
    OT VIII completion with a misspelling
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  30. DeathHamster Member
    tl;dr: It's not even a bad review and he sent it to the wrong people.
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  31. jensting Member

    While this is comedy gold (I bet he doesn't understand that Google shows different results to different people - I barely get his own website on my first page of Google search results, by now), it doesn't alter the fact that a serious discussion shoud be had about online privacy and that this court ruling may or may not have been it.
  32. DeathHamster Member

    We still remember.
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  33. Incredulicide Member
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  34. Ogsonofgroo Member

    As our own dear (missing in action) Anne would say, 'Interesting'.
  35. Hugh Bris Member

    This is what came to mind when I heard about this:
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  36. GibbousWaxing Member

    Does the EU allow proxy removal requests on behalf of the dead? Kinda like Mormon baptism? Because they're in no position to make the request themselves, but they obviously would if they were able to?

    Cuz then we could pretty much wipe out all of history just for the lulz.

    Not that I'd want to do that; I think Santayana got it right.

    (No, not "Oye Como Va"!)

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