The debate about the European Court of Justice’s ruling that Google should remove links that are now no longer ‘relevant’ rumbles on. Is it a check on the dominance of Google over our lives, or a threat to free speech? Whatever you believe, this debate doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
This week a new website has been set up that lists items Google has removed. Hidden From Google has claimed to have received “hundreds” of tip offs from its visitors.
“There is an information gap there and, where you can verify examples, you can curate a list,” said Afaq Tariq, a US web developer who built up the site in June. He added that other web developers were helping him curate the list, which presently stands at fifteen examples.
Mr Tariq said that he decided to set up the website when he realised that no one had already attempted to list the articles erased from search engine results.
“It is not as if the links are going away, it is just Google results within Europe that they are removed from, so you have this before-and-after picture with Google US” he said. “Some seem to have been removed, but are not any longer – that is part of the reason the list remains short. Until I can verify that an article is being censored consistently across European domains, I cannot put it on the list in good conscience” Mr Tariq said.
Mr Tariq added that he had not yet made up his mind on the ‘right to be forgotten’ issue.