Google has so far removed 440K+ search results on ‘right to be forgotten’ grounds
In addition to being a delicate, polarizing issue that the world’s largest provider of online search services is still fighting in courts around the old continent, the right to be forgotten concept put into practice by the European Union last year apparently requires a lot of time and resources spent by Google.
And we mean a lot, with a grand total of 348,508 claims filed since May 2014, concerning more than 1.2 million URLs, of which the now Alphabet-owned search giant only removed 42 percent. That’s a lofty 441,778 results nonetheless, and of course, Google had to properly evaluate each and every request before assessing their merits.
Unsurprisingly, Facebook leads the ranks of websites with the most URL addresses deleted, over 10,000, followed by the lesser known Profile Engine database, at close to 8K, Google’s own Groups app, YouTube, and Badoo, a social network chiefly popular in Latin America, Spain, Italy, and France.
Twitter also makes the top ten, but its 3,900 count is actually surpassed by Google Plus, the social platform that the former’s fans would like to believe no one uses.
In case you’re not familiar with the right to be forgotten policy, this is meant to “omit” search results for queries that include a person’s name and are “inadequate, irrelevant, no longer relevant, or excessive.” Understandably, the decision can often seem arbitrary or unequivocally wrong, though Big G is trying hard to eliminate subjectivity and prejudice of any kind, offering a couple of very straightforward scenarios where webpages were delisted and a petition for delisting was denied.
Namely, all references to a “decades-old criminal conviction” of a current “high-ranking public official” in Hungary were retained, yet an individual in Belgium initially found guilty of a serious offense, then acquitted on appeal, attained his online justice too, getting libelous search hits dismissed. Too bad not everything is so black and white all the time.