Google reinstates deleted links to Guardian articles (Wired UK)


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Google has reversed its decision to remove several links to
Guardian articles following action it took under its new
process for dealing with “right to be forgotten” requests.

Google has been removing links following a recent ruling by the European Court of Justice that ordered
information pertaining to the financial situation of a Spanish man
to be deleted from results. The Guardian is not the only
British news outlet to have had links removed from search results
as Google trawls through the thousands of requests, but this seems
to be the first and only example in which a decision has been
overturned. The link to a BBC article by Robert Peston regarding
former Merrill Lynch CEO E Stanley O’Neal that was removed has not
been reinstated.

According to the Guardian, the company has had no
contact with Google other than when it received the initial email
explaining that six articles were being hidden from search
results.

“It does seem that some, but not all, of the Guardian
stories that Google hid in search results are now appearing once
more. However, we’ve had no correspondence from Google confirming
that this is the case, and it remains an unclear situation,” a
Guardian spokeswoman told Wired.co.uk.

The process for how Google decides which links to remove remains
somewhat mysterious, and it could well be that it is struggling
with implementing the European Court’s ruling in a consistent way.
The other possibility of course is that by cutting off links to
news articles and reinstating them it is trying to make a point
about censorship and press freedom in the hope that the ruling may be
readdressed — after all, Google fought against the ruling to the
bitter end.

Making a point is all well and good, but in the meantime the
Guardian, among others, has called for Google to explain
exactly how it chooses what to hide and unhide so that there is a
better level of public understanding given the current reality of
the situation. “As we stated yesterday, we would urge Google to be
transparent about the criteria it is using to make these decisions,
and how publishers can formally challenge them.”

Google, however is staying uncharacteristically quiet about the
situation, given the vehemence with which it usually defends its
transparency measures. Wired.co.uk contacted Google to find out why
it had decided to reverse its decision, but had not heard back at
the time this story was published.

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Source: wired.co.uk
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