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Google has started accepting censorship requests from Europeans

Google is starting to accept requests from Europeans who want to erase unflattering information from the results produced by the world’s dominant search engine. The demands can be submitted on a Web page that Google opened late Thursday in response to a landmark ruling issued two weeks ago by Europe’s highest court. The decision gives Europeans the means to polish their online reputations by petitioning Google and other search engines to remove potentially damaging links to newspaper articles and other websites with embarrassing information about their past activities.

Google has complied with the European Union court’s ruling that people have a right to be forgotten, releasing a tool that allows Europeans to submit links for removal from its search engine. The tool asks each person for information about why they are making the request and which links they would like removed; the request is then analyzed to determine whether or not it falls under the court’s ruling, and if it does, Google will pull the link from its search results. There are many things we don’t know about the tool: how does Google analyze requests? How long will it take the company to remove links from its search results? How will the government monitor the tool’s usage to confirm that Google isn’t just playing at compliance? The company says that it will tell people when the links they asked to be removed are pulled, but warns that this is its first, imperfect attempt at making such a tool.

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Written by Chastity Mansfield

I'm a writer, an amateur designer, and a collector of trinkets that nobody else wants. You can find me on Noozeez, and Twitter.

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