Ever since the European Court ruling earlier this year gave people the ‘right to be forgotten’, links have been disappearing from Google search within Europe. If anyone feels they have a right to request the removal of out of date or irrelevant details found on Google search, they can contact Google and ask for it to be taken down. And they have done so, in their droves.
Now it seems that one of the internet’s most famous sites is being hit by the effects of the ruling. This week, the Wikimedia Foundation, the not for profit organisation who operates Wikipedia, revealed that it has received ‘multiple requests’ to remove links and content from its European sites.
In a blog post this week, Wikimedia says that of the 91,000 requests for removal made, more than 50 links were those directing users to Wikipedia sites.
In another blog post, Wikimedia executive director Lisa Tretikov said that the organisation will be posting notices for every Wikipedia search result that has been removed.
It is clear that Wikimedia does not approve of the European Court Ruling. Their blog post says that the European court “abandoned its responsibility to protect one of the most important and universal rights: the right to seek, receive and impart information.”
However, some commentators believe Wikimedia are not taking into account the European perspective. One commentator wrote: “This is by no means a sign of censorship, but rather one of compliance to European law. I would expect the Wikimedia Foundation to respect the law. Instead you announce that you have put up a pillory–style page you consider an act of transparency, listing all those cases that you have become aware of, which…runs the risk of being against the same said law. I think this is rather disappointing because it demonstrates the deep divide between the U.S. and Europe on these issues.”