In a fabulously ironic article on Friday, July 18, The Wall Street Journal spotlighted a Netherlands-based PE investor who took advantage of the European Union Court of Justice’s recent ruling that individuals can now request that Google remove irrelevant links from searches of their name. The WSJ apparently received a notification from Google that an article had been removed from a number of European search results. (And yes, the article cited the investor’s original article of contention in this new, now undoubtedly highly-cited piece.)
Since the May ruling, Google has received over 70,000 takedown requests for the removal 250,000 webpages from search results, according to the company’s official blog. Amid the process of removing links, Google has begun sending websites notifications of articles which no longer appear in search results — sparking an initial backlash from journalists who are seeing their stories fall off of Google’s radar.
The ruling has also ignited a long, arguably subjective process for Google. In an initial response to the decision, a spokesperson noted: “The court’s ruling requires Google to make difficult judgments about an individual’s right to be forgotten and the public’s right to know.”