Wikipedia Reveals Which Pages Got Killed By Europe's "Right to be Forgotten"

Earlier this week, Europe's controversial "Right to be forgotten" legislation started going after Wikipedia pages. Now we know more: Wikipedia revealed that five pages have been removed from Google searches.

The Wikimedia Foundation posted the notices of removal online. Pages on Irish bank robber Gerry Hutch, Italian gang Banda Della Comasina, a chess player, and a photo of a musician named Tom Carstairs in concert are all getting removed from searches.

The Wikimedia Foundation made it clear these notices were not warmly received:

We do not know who requested each removal. People should not assume that a subject of an article made the request, since others may have the opportunity to make such a demand for removal.

We are not aware of other search engines' processes or the number of requests they are receiving and granting. Search engines may not provide proper notices, so we appreciate the companies who share our commitment to free speech and transparency. Compelled censorship is unacceptable, but compelled censorship without notice is unforgivable.


The results are only blocked in Europe, so if you're someplace else in the world, you can still see the content stirring up trouble. [Guardian]

Europe's "Right to be Forgotten" Law Kills Its First Wikipedia Page

Europe's controversial "Right to be forgotten" ruling has claimed its first Wikipedia page victim, according to Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. Wales told The Observer that the E.U. legislation is "completely insane and needs to be fixed."

The Wikipedia page will stay up, but it will not appear in Google search results. Google, like Wales, is opposed to the legislation, which is meant to give individuals more power over what information appears about them over the internet but is viewed by critics as censorship.


The identity of the page hasn't been disclosed, but we've asked Wikipedia for more information and will update when we hear back. [The Observer via BBC]

Image credit: Adapted from Shutterstock/Keith Bell