BBC Is Listing Pages Removed By Google Under EU Right-To-Be-Forgotten

Illustration for article titled BBC Is Listing Pages Removed By Google Under EU Right-To-Be-Forgotten

A year has passed since the EU ruled that people have the “right to be forgotten” online, and Google has been busy removing links when people ask it to. But the BBC has been keeping track of its articles that Google has de-listed—and now it’s published the list online.


“The BBC has decided to make clear to license fee payers which pages have been removed from Google’s search results by publishing this list of links,” writes Neil McIntosh, a Managing Editor at the BBC. “Each month, we’ll republish [a] list with new removals added at the top.”

The pages that are de-listed by Google usually contain information about a person or persons, and no longer show up in searches for those names (they otherwise continue to exist online and do show up for other search terms). The BBC explains why pointing out that the pages have been de-listed is important:

We are doing this primarily as a contribution to public policy. We think it is important that those with an interest in the “right to be forgotten” can ascertain which articles have been affected by the ruling. We hope it will contribute to the debate about this issue. We also think the integrity of the BBC’s online archive is important and, although the pages concerned remain published on BBC Online, removal from Google searches makes parts of that archive harder to find.

Articles removed from search result by Google include those describing the sentencing of a rapist, the murder of an heiress and a court case which saw judges argue about what constituted a game of football. It is, however, worth noting that the person requesting the de-listing isn’t necessarily the obvious one. Necessarily.

You can see the full list compiled by the BBC here.


Image by Ben Seidelman under Creative Commons license



This seems very dangerous and reckless on the BBC’s part. Sure there is going to be page unlinked to hide wrong doings. But there is likely also sites that were unlinked by victims of sexual harassment as well as of other pages like terrorist join up sites, hate speech, racism, snuff etc.

I can see the BBC getting in massive trouble for this.