Google forced by European law to remove positive article

Worcester News | The Guardian

Google has been forced by Europe's "Right to Be Forgotten" law to remove an article about an artist named Dan Roach from its search results. The article ran in the U.K.'s Worcester News in 2009, and unlike many of the articles memory-holed by the law, was positive.

Roach objected to the piece, however, because it showed work that "bears little resemblance to the paintings I’m now making," he told the News. He added: "The decision to ask for the link to be removed from Google was based on no more than a wish to highlight my new work, rather than the old."

The new Worcester News article helpfully reproduces the photo from the 2009 article.

The ruling has caused the search giant to vanish articles subjects find objectionable: The Guardian, for instance, lost links to articles about Dougie McDonald, a Scottish soccer referee who retired after a report said he lied about why he reversed a penalty.

The ruling stemmed from the case brought by a Spaniard named Mario Costeja González who wanted Google to remove “an announcement for a real-estate auction organised following attachment proceedings for the recovery of social security debts owed by Mr Costeja González” published by the newspaper La Vanguardia in the late ’90s.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.

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