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Wikipedia Censorship EU Google

Wikipedia Reports 50 Links From Google 'Forgotten', Issues Transparency Report 81

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the down-the-memory-hole dept.
netbuzz (955038) writes The Wikimedia Foundation this morning reports that 50 links to Wikipedia from Google have been removed under Europe's "right to be forgotten" regulations, including a page about a notorious Irish bank robber and another about an Italian criminal gang. "We only know about these removals because the involved search engine company chose to send notices to the Wikimedia Foundation. Search engines have no legal obligation to send such notices. Indeed, their ability to continue to do so may be in jeopardy. Since search engines are not required to provide affected sites with notice, other search engines may have removed additional links from their results without our knowledge. This lack of transparent policies and procedures is only one of the many flaws in the European decision." Wikimedia now has a page listing all notifications that search listing were removed. itwbennett also wrote in with Wikimedia news this morning: the Wikimedia foundation published its first ever transparency report, detailing requests to remove or alter content (zero granted, ever) and content removed for copyright violations.
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Wikipedia Reports 50 Links From Google 'Forgotten', Issues Transparency Report

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @12:40PM (#47614959)

    Time to get beta forgotten!

  • As a European... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @12:44PM (#47614983)

    As a European (Greek) i must beg our American (USA) brothers and sisters to defend their/our "right to remember"...

    • I've gotta say, I didn't see rampant abuse of the law coming so fast.

      • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @12:50PM (#47615021) Homepage

        I've gotta say, I didn't see rampant abuse of the law coming so fast.

        Really? Because pretty much as soon as it happened this is what most of us expected.

        The people who want to do this probably started the process the next day.

        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by ramper (1206148)

          Or the people who don't want this to happen started the practice the next day to eventually lead to this story to make the situation more visible?

        • by Thud457 (234763) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @12:57PM (#47615069) Homepage Journal
          Wikipedia should also link to pages about the relevant laws, and discussing why they're a really bad idea.
        • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

          by i kan reed (749298)

          I don't know who modded you troll. Your objection to my post is totally reasonable.

          You might have seen it. I didn't.

          • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @02:30PM (#47615891) Homepage

            You might have seen it. I didn't.

            LOL, you know in general, that you are less cynical and paranoid than me is probably not a terrible thing.

            I've just learned to go straight to the worst case scenario, and then give the world a little time to catch up. There's usually a 3-6 month lag time before people go from saying "you're a paranoid loon" to "holy crap". ;-)

            My wife, however, still stands by paranoid loon most of the time.

        • by ganjadude (952775)
          you mean the people who wanted this had all the paperwork ready to go and all they had to do was hit "submit" on the day it passed
          • by Anonymous Coward

            I know I would. As someone who doesn't even have anything compromising about me out there, I would want to be wiped clean fron Google and Bing.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Opportunist (166417)

      I can actually support the intent of the law: To give people a chance to redeem themselves. People live, people make mistakes, sometimes horrible mistakes. Horrible enough that they make the news and that they are spread on the internet. But even they should have a chance to see their misdeeds eventually forgotten, to allow them to turn the page over and start over.

      Of course something like that is quickly picked up by crooks who only want to be "forgotten" to repeat their offenses.

      So how about a compromise:

      • Who will be responsible for tracking how many times people have asked to be 'forgotten'? And does the one-Mulligan rule apply to each 'forgettable' incident, or do you only get one 'forget' overall, or is there some formula to be applied?

      • by Wootery (1087023)

        So how about a compromise: You have the right to be forgotten. Once

        Well, no, because it's obviously a broken idea. There are legitimate uses for the 'right to be forgotten' principle, right? As you said, you agree with the intent of the law. What is it which guarantees that no individual will ever have a need to be 'forgotten' twice?

        Example off the top of my head: a victim of two unrelated rapes, who doesn't want a Wikipedia article about them.

        (This is to say nothing of the unenforceable/Streisand/free-speech concerns.)

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          Example off the top of my head: a victim of two unrelated rapes, who doesn't want a Wikipedia article about them.

          That's a different issue, since in many European countries alleged rape victims are granted anonymity and publishing their names is actually a crime. A better example would be an article about the alleged rapist who was found innocent.

          There are people in the UK who have had to change their names because of false rape allegations. One guy recently had to apply for an emergency fast-track order so he could get his name changed before his university issued his degree certificate.

      • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @01:52PM (#47615509) Homepage Journal

        Let's let technology improve our culture by showing us which things everyone does, and which things almost nobody does but which we need to know about.

      • by Dishevel (1105119) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @03:30PM (#47616441)
        I do not care how nice you normally are.

        You do NOT have the right to force someone else to forget things about you!

        Period.

        • Do I have the right to another chance when I made a mistake once, learned that it was a mistake and want to do my best to avoid doing it again? If not, why not just keep everyone locked up for good, if we don't expect them to come out of prison reformed and improved, if we fully expect them to repeat their offense, why release them at all?

          • by Dishevel (1105119) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @05:13PM (#47617319)
            Again. This is not about what you would like for yourself. It is what you can and can not force other people to do.

            I can understand your problem with comprehending this. There is an entire group of people in the world that confuse a right (Something that can not be taken from you) with what they want (Stuff people have to do for me or give me).

            Just like those that think healthcare is a right. Might be a good idea, might be a bad idea. Is not a right.

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              . There is an entire group of people in the world that confuse a right (Something that can not be taken from you) with what they want (Stuff people have to do for me or give me). Just like those that think healthcare is a right. Might be a good idea, might be a bad idea. Is not a right.

              There is nothing which can not be taken from you. Therefore, there are no natural rights. There are only those rights which we as cultures, societies, or other groups decide, agree, and proceed to protect. By that token, the right to health care as as valid a concept as any other right — we have the ability to provide it, and some argue that we therefore have the responsibility. Whether that's true is another argument entirely, and it's the argument you really are meant to be having when you argue abo

              • by Dishevel (1105119)
                To be clear. A right is something that "We agree as a culture to not take from you".

                Better

                What we agree to take by force from other people to give to you is not a right. It may or may not be the right thing to do but it is not a right.

    • by vemene (466110)

      As a European (Greek) i must beg our American (USA) brothers and sisters to defend their/our "right to remember"...

      It is technically known as "History" and most educational systems worldwide (even in Greece, where it was practically invented for Western Civilization) offer core-curriculum courses in it, as it is considered an essential public good.

  • Kudos (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RobertM1968 (951074) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @12:44PM (#47614985) Homepage Journal

    Bravo to Google and Wikipedia for trying to be transparent about this. The law used seems absurd, and is open for much abuse (think politics, for one).

  • by ThatsMyNick (2004126) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @12:54PM (#47615053)

    The funny thing is, both en pages were about to be deleted for lack of notoriety. Now will the all the media coverage, they have suddenly become notable, and my bet is both articles will be retained. Streisand effect at it's finest.

  • by sinij (911942) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @12:56PM (#47615063) Journal
    Dear humanity, welcome to the Information Age. Why do we call it Information age? Because we developed technologies that allow us to retain significant portion of all information and knowledge produced, from mundane to crucial. As such, your right to forget should not, cannot trump our right to remember.
  • if wiki is being sent alerts to the fact that they are having links removed, all they need to do is create a static page with all the links no longer listed on google. and boom, Streisand effect in action.
  • Remember this? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Wikipedia's founder censors plenty of content [slashdot.org] himself. Then he says stuff like this [telegraph.co.uk]. Right.

  • Right to be forgotten is horrible misguided and will only be a tool to create memory holes.

    • I think you posted this on the wrong discussion.

      We're talking about legislation, not C. ;)

      *hides*

  • by Joe Gillian (3683399) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @01:05PM (#47615127)

    Two of the three articles Wikimedia received notices about are for convicted criminals (Gerry Hutch and Renato Vallanzasca) who thrive on publicity for money. Both of them have proved litigious in the past, so it's not surprising they'd want the Wiki pages delisted. However, I can't help but think that running a notoriously violent branch of the Mafia in Milan or robbing banks aren't exactly the kind of things the law hoped would be forgotten.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by KFT (663082)

      Given that the results still show up when you search for these names in the EU, it was likely someone else that was at some point in time mentioned on this page (correctly or not, it is Wikipedia after all). So now when you search for this other person, this specific Wikipedia page will not show up.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      So if somebody wrote an article on Wikipedia about Geoff Brigham or Michelle Paulson posting their private addresses and/or where do they children go to school, would they just leave the article for Google to index it?

      Yes, some people are using this court decision to remove access to information about them, probably because of bad publicity; But that is exactly what this is for. Governments and courts already keep records and delete them when necessary, so important information, like criminal records, are n

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      However, I can't help but think that running a notoriously violent branch of the Mafia in Milan or robbing banks aren't exactly the kind of things the law hoped would be forgotten.

      Not exactly. They were hoping to make people forget things like banks using violent, mafia-esque tactics.

    • by onepoint (301486)

      well I could not help it and let's see what happens when I post this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G... [wikipedia.org]

  • by pr0fessor (1940368) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @01:37PM (#47615371)

    Zero granted, ever???

    I can't imagine that absolutely none of the requests where verifiable facts. {like a mis-typed date}

    • I can't imagine that absolutely none of the requests where verifiable facts. {like a mis-typed date}

      That wouldn't come under "right to be forgotten" though, a simple edit or correction request would address that.

      The whole notion of a "right" to prohibit someone else from making a factually accurate statement on one website about the content of another site seems utterly absurd to me. Removing the destination page itself could perhaps be excused in some cases ... but to accept that the owner of a page making

    • by Carnildo (712617)

      Requests to fix errors come in all the time -- and are forwarded to the community, who decide if the request is reasonable or not. In such cases, the Foundation merely acts as a conduit for the request, rather than granting or denying it.

      The denied requests come about when someone demands (and it's almost always a demand) that the Foundation use their powers as operator of the website to make a change to an article.

  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @01:42PM (#47615419) Journal

    If the person dies, can Google re-enable the search result?
    Or have these pages gone into a permanent black hole as far as search engines are concerned?

  • Google also recently axed its very useful Discussion search function: Where has the discussion search filter gone? - Google Product Forums [google.com] No reason given - ostensibly to combat piracy in bootlegging forums? And to kill grandmothers who are trying to figure out why they have these shooting pains racing up their left arm. Oh yeah, etc. Nice one, Google. Just another instance of them being useless pains in the ass for whatever reason.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    What everybody seems to forget is that google only told wikipedia that "certain searches" will no longer return the link mentioned. Not what those searched are.

    If I google (in .eu) for "gerry hutch", the first result is the wikipedia page for gerry hutch. Exactly the link that was removed for "certain searches". So the "certain search" wasn't "gerry hutch". It could have been your mother. And unless your from a familly of Irish bankrobbers, it is highly unlikely that the wikipedia page of gerry hutch is a

  • We're about to see the world's single biggest application of the Streisand Effect, ever.

  • Fuck the EU All of it.
  • We lost freedom (Score:3, Interesting)

    by aepervius (535155) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @02:33PM (#47615935)
    People apparently forget, that before google we all enjoyed a right to be forgotten. The *original* article were and are still available. They are simply not made conveniently extremly easy to get. And this was as it was before google. This is not censorship, as the original article are still available. Now with google you cannot ever be forgotten. A society which cannot forget , is a society which cannot forgive, is one where freedom are reduced. Understand this : freddom is not at what society willingly accept. Freedom is to be found at the edges what society may not like, like gay mariage, like smoking pot, or whatever legal or borderline legal variety of things. If you get caught and society never forget you have a much harder time, and people will simply forgoe their freedom rather than get fucked for life.
    paradoxically if you remove the right to be forgotten you reduce the freedom of people because they know if they get caught in the gray zone, then society will never forget and they get fucked

    Google is an asshat for reporting intentionally and I hope the european regulator whoop their ass for that. And most people do not understand that with their cry of censorship they are actually removing freedom to us all.
    • by swillden (191260)

      A society which cannot forget , is a society which cannot forgive

      That's a rather bold assertion. Care to support it?

      • A person which was arrested (even if it does not appear in their judicial case) or involved in a local scandal would in the past still find a job since no firm for a normal job would go as far as to send somebody to search their private life (your average job). But now a days , if you smoked pot and it is noted somewhere even if you have no judicial file, you get double whammy punished because people at job interview will avoid you. And that count for all sort of controversial shit. You get gay marrier ? p
        • by swillden (191260)
          You didn't actually support your assertion. You still just continue to claim that forgiving without forgetting is impossible. I agree that it will require a societal change, but in a world where everyone's peccadilloes are public knowledge, I think that change will happen.
  • I see the linked "Notices received from search engines" page has several low quality screen shot images showing the Google "notice of removal from Google Search". The links can barely be made out from these images. How about actually copying and pasting the list of URLs as text? Let's crank the Streisand effect up to 11!
  • "The Wikimedia Foundation this morning reports that 50 links to Wikipedia from Google have been removed under Europe's "right to be forgotten" regulations,..."

    Looking at the Wikipedia page listing the notifications they've received of pages removed from the european search engine https://wikimediafoundation.or... [wikimediafoundation.org] , two were english wikipedia, two wre italian, and the remainder are all nl.wikipedia-- Netherlands.

    So, apparently the Dutch have much more desire to be forgotten than the rest of Europe. (Or else

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