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November 26, 2015 Aaron Miles
Google's struggle with the "right to be forgotten" in Europe, which has meandered through the European court system and been upheld repeatedly therein , finally has some numerical context as Google updated the publicly available information on the requests they have received .
Since the enforcement of the right to be forgotten began about 18 months ago, Google have removed 441,778 URLs from its search results. Google received 348,508 requests leading them to evaluate 1,235,473 URLs. These are totals since Google began offering takedown request forms on May 29, 2014.
Google also notes in the report that, contrary to the general perception of the right to be forgotten, the search giant evaluates each request and can decline to remove results if it is in the public interest to keep them available. The examples they gave to illustrate the different result were, for an approved request, someone had a link removed to an article about a contest the person participated in as a minor. Another takedown request, from a member of the media who wanted links to reports on "embarrassing content" he posted online be taken down, was denied.
There was also this weird loop-de-loo of takedown logic :
After we removed a news story about a minor crime, the newspaper published a story about the removal action. The Information Commissioner’s Office ordered us to remove the second story from search results for the individual’s name. We removed the page from search results for the individual's name.
Google declined to take down 608,928 search results, which represents 58% of the total URL evaluations.
The websites with the most search result links removed are a mix of popular websites and directory sites, including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google, and also Profile Engine, badoo.com, and 192.com. According to Stan Schroeder of Mashable , France lead on takedown requests with 73,399 takedown requests, followed by Germany, the UK, Spain, and Italy.