Following the removal of thousands of links to leading sites including BBC, Google is all set to stretch the European Court of Justice’s “right to be forgotten” ruling, to a Wikipedia article, restricting the search terms, marking the first time the online 110m-page encyclopaedia to be affected by the ruling.
Google has not disclosed the identity of the individual, who had requested for a change in search results. The request is expected to be put into effect and the link will be removed from the Google search results within the next few days. However, the web page will be available on Wikipedia.
Back in May, ECJ ruled that search engines must honour the “Right to be Forgotten” law and accept requests by citizens to remove search results that are “inadequate, irrelevant of no longer relevant information.”
Last month, Google revealed that it has received around 91,000 takedown requests relating to over 300,000 pages. The company had successfully dealt with more than 53 percent of requests, demanded more information on 15 percent requests and has refused nearly 32 percent of the total requests.
Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, also a member of a Google’s 10-person advisory council, said that “it’s completely insane and it needs to be fixed.” He added that there can be no defensible ‘right’ to censor what others are saying, in case if it is truthful, non-defamatory information obtained legally.
He continued that there isn’t any right to use the law and prevent Wikipedia editors from writing truthful information, nor there is a right to restrict Google from publishing truthful information. Wales added that Wikipedia as well as Google “can and should” work hard in order to do a good job.
The council formed to decide and advice on how to handle the requests to takedown links will be travelling to Europe for the first meeting scheduled on September 9, in Madrid.
Earlier last week, the House of Lords also argued that the “Right to be forgotten” law simply doesn’t exist and the ruling is just “unworkable, unreasonable and wrong in principle.”